About ACC… Grades 7 – 12
Secondary School Education (High School) is the last stepping stone preceding university learning; hence, it carries a significant, weight of responsibility, development, and most important pre-posters.
American City College (ACC) offers its high school students a wide range of academic, social, and psychological areas from which they will develop personalized leadership.
Leading one’s self allows ACC students to select their own goals and maintaining impressive success.
At ACC, we believe that success in English is fundamental to the success of students in all areas of their future lives. Being able to read, comprehend, interpret, write, and communicate are essential skills. We teach these skills at all levels with progressing depth from year to year
In addition, we believe that literature of all genres – fiction and nonfiction – opens a wealth of information, expression, and enjoyment to students. Therefore, students study all kinds of literature from a variety of authors around the world. Moreover, we want our students to gain as much from our program as possible.
In Middle School, we focus on reading comprehension; basic writing skills for sentences, paragraphs, compositions, and research papers; acquisition of new vocabulary to increase fluency in reading, writing, and speaking; and grammar analysis and usage for knowledge of our own language and the ability to write properly. In addition to literary selections from different genres, students are required to complete an intensive reading of a minimum of two literary works with emphasis placed on language study and literary appreciation.
In the High School program, we finalize basic skills in the 9th grade. In the 10th through 12th grades, we focus on essay writing, literary analysis, and knowledge of literary history, interpretive skills, research paper writing skills, and vocabulary development.
8th Grade English
• Basics of literary analysis of a variety of genres – short stories, epic, poetry, drama, novel, and nonfiction.
• Students read Echo and Narcissus, The House on Mango Street and, King Arthur: The Sword in the Stone
• Continued reading comprehension skills.
• Fundamental composition skills in the writing process; writing solid paragraphs and longer expositions; introduction to essay format.
• Vocabulary acquisition.
• Grammar – fundamentals of sentence patterns, phrases, clauses, complete and incomplete sentences, punctuation and capitalization.
• Supplemental reading.
• Academic Project research skills.
High School English
By High School, students should have a solid rooting in the essentials of good writing and grammar. English courses in the sophomore, junior and senior years are primarily literature based but students must continue to demonstrate and develop their composition skills through a variety of writing assignments.
9th Grade English
Literary analysis of a variety of genres. Selections include Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad, A Dream Within a Dream, The Tell-Tale Heart and Broken Chain. • Composition skills – expanding knowledge of the writing process, focus on writing strong essays while maintaining basic paragraph format, research paper writing skills. • Completion of grammar skills not mastered in 8th grade. • Vocabulary acquisition. • Supplemental reading. •Speech. • Creative Writing. • Academic Project.
10th Grade English
In this grade there is a logically organized and sequenced order that helps students build literary, reading, writing, vocabulary, and listening and speaking skills. Students read a variety of selections in which characters and people confront the unknown, people face conflicts and discover more about themselves in the process, and in which people struggle with life’s difficult decisions. They read a selection of writers ranging from Langston Hughes (Thank You, M’am), O. Henry (The Gift of the Magi), Truman Capote (A Christmas Memory) and William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet). Students write their own short stories, autobiographical narratives and research papers. In addition, they expand their vocabulary.
11th Grade English
Exploration of themes and genres across cultural boundaries. • Students read and analyze a variety of stories from a wide assortment of writers ranging from Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, and of course, William Shakespeare.• There is a focus on modern and contemporary short stories from around the world. • Students continue to expand on their essay and research paper writing skills. • Supplemental reading. • Vocabulary acquisition.
12th Grade English American Literature
Chronological approach to American Literature from Native American myths to contemporary short stories and poetry. • Students learn how literature is a product of history and the world around us. • Fundamentals of essay writing covered from review of writing process to practice of focused thesis statements, cogent body paragraphs, catchy introductions, and conclusions. • Various modes and strategies of exposition, argumentation, description, and narration. • Vocabulary acquisition. • Academic Project research paper support also offered.
The ISM Science program imparts a general understanding of science, how to perform scientific experiments, and the importance of science in daily life. The curriculum uses examples from every-day activities to identify, explore, and understand scientific principles. As students investigate new scientific concepts, they identify and relate the impact of these concepts to their own lives. As a result, ISM students graduate with sufficient scientific literacy to understand scientific concepts in the world around them.
Learning About Science
The Learning About Science curriculum seeks to discover the order of nature and determine the underlying causes that govern this order. The scientific method is discussed in detail as a process that has proven extremely effective for gaining, organizing, and applying scientific knowledge. The incredibly broad scope of scientific inquiry – which ranges from the minutest sub-atomic particles through the complex chemical reactions that support life processes to the unimaginably large-scale phenomena – is also emphasized throughout the curriculum. Whenever practical, the historical context of a particular discovery is examined and the effects of the discovery upon society are discussed. Finally, students examine the relationship between science and the humanities, emphasizing that science and the humanities are complementary aspects of the human experience, each providing its own unique perspectives and insights.
Learning How To Do Science
Learning how to do science involves both the theoretical and practical aspects of science. At all grade levels, students develop a firm understanding of important scientific principles, as well as the application of these principles to a broad range of physical phenomena. In lower grades, where students possess less mathematical sophistication, the principles are necessarily described in a qualitative or semi-quantitative fashion.
upper-level courses emphasize the quantitative aspects of science and establish its laws in a mathematically rigorous manner. Conducting experiments and comparing experimental results with theoretical predictions emphasize the practical side of science. Throughout all courses, a systematic approach to problem solving is emphasized. This approach provides students with a consistent, simple, and logical framework that permits them to approach and solve complex problems with confidence.
Learning About the Importance of Science
The Learning About the Importance of Science component of the science curriculum ensures that the impact of science on our everyday activities is continually examined. Whether it is the use of DNA evidence in a criminal trial, the impact of fluorocarbons on global warming, or the desirability of generating electricity with nuclear technology, students comprehensively examine the impact of science on our daily lives.
Middle School Science: Grades 6-8
General science provides a broad overview of the major disciplines that comprise the physical and life sciences. The course addresses numerous aspects of the physical sciences with specific emphasis on atomic structure, chemical and nuclear reactions, light, sound, and electricity. The course also explores the life sciences, emphasizing the interactions of living things, ecosystems, communities, the water cycle, and the carbon dioxide cycle. This course features a highly interactive approach to exploring Science.
Life Science examines the science and diversity of living things. The course begins with a discussion of the various ways that we learn about Nature, the manner in which scientific data are gathered, analyzed, and reported, and the way in which the scientific method has supported the spectacular growth of scientific knowledge over the past several hundred years. This course addresses the world of microorganisms, cell theory, cell functions, cell division, monerans, viruses, protests, and fungi. Finally, the course examines invertebrates, cold-blooded vertebrates, and warm-blooded vertebrates.
The Earth Science course begins with a review of the scientific method, the International System (SI) of units, and the general techniques that scientists use to obtain, record, and report their measurements. It then considers the importance of the earth’s position in space and its rotation on its axis, its revolution about the sun, the seasons, and the phases and eclipses of the moon. This view of the earth is then expanded to discussions of the solar system, the stars and their spectral classes, colors, and life cycles, the galaxy, and finally the universe.
The course then examines terrestrial phenomena, exploring in detail the nature of minerals, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, and the atmosphere and its characteristics and effects upon climate and weather. The final segment of the course examines the earth’s changing surface (weathering, erosion, and deposition processes), its crust (volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics), and its geologic history (which examines the “rock record” and the parade of life forms that have occupied the planet).
High School Science
High School Biology examines four major topics: human biology, genetics, evolution and ecology.
Human biology begins with a description of the circulatory and respiratory systems. Students then learn how neurons function and how certain drugs affect the long-term structure of the neurons in the brain. Throughout this unit there is an emphasis on correlating structure with function.
Genetics begins with a description of fundamental genetic principles and how to perform genetic crosses using Punnett squares. Students then examine genetic patterns using pedigrees, human genetics (including quantitative genetics), and genetic engineering. The cellular processes of transcription and translation are then discussed and a deeper connection is made between genotype, and phenotype.
The discussion of Evolution begins with the fossil record, evidence of common ancestry, Lamarck’s hypotheses and Darwin’s theories regarding change and patterns of evolution. To further the understanding of evolution, genetic equilibrium is then explored, followed by discussions of the formation of species and the effects of evolution on isolated populations. Finally, students review hominid evolution and examine common misconceptions.
The study of Ecology is comprised of five distinct phases. During the first phase, students review tolerance curves and the concept of niches as they relate to the individual. Populations are addressed and modeled using human population growth as a specific example. The four types of community interactions are then reviewed. the effects of species interactions. Environmental problems are addressed at the levels of the ecosystem and biome.
Completion of the Advanced Biology curriculum prepares students for Advanced Placement Biology. Topics covered in great depth include biochemistry, enzyme kinetics, cellular biology, and genetics. This course emphasizes the concepts of science as a process, energy transfer, relationship of the structure to function, and regulation.
Prerequisites: Chemistry or Physics 1, and Biology
Conceptual Physics is an introductory course that examines the basic laws of physics from a semi-quantitative perspective. Although simple algebraic equations are used, the course emphasizes qualitative reasoning. One of its major goals is to develop the ability to apply a small number of fundamental principles to a broad range of physical phenomena.
The course begins with a brief discussion of the goals of Science and the Scientific Method. Motion of a particle in one and two dimensions is studied in terms of a particle’s speed, velocity, and acceleration. Newton’s three laws of motion are discussed in detail and applied to a large number of problems. Students also investigate the laws of conservation of linear momentum, angular momentum, and energy, and the power of these conservation laws to simplify problem solving. The study of mechanics is completed with a discussion of Newton’s Law Of Universal Gravitation and Kepler’s Laws Of Planetary Motion.
The second major portion of the course addresses the important aspects of electricity and magnetism. Coulomb’s Law is developed and used to introduce the concept of an electric field. This discussion is then used to examine the ideas of voltage, resistance, electric current, and Ohm’s Law. Magnetic fields are described in terms of moving charges and the relationships between magnetic and electric fields are established. Discussions also include generators, electromagnets, transformers, biomagnetism.
Prerequisite: Math 1
Physics 1 is an algebra-based course that carefully develops the major features of Newtonian mechanics. Its primary goal is to provide a firm understanding of the basic laws used to describe motion. Heavy emphasis is placed upon the construction of free-body diagrams, the use of conservation laws, and a structured approach to problem solving.
The course begins with a detailed description of kinematics in one and two dimensions. Students then study Newton’s Laws of Motion and apply them to a wide range of physical situations, including circular motion. The conservation laws of energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum are developed directly from Newton’s laws and their application to a broad range of phenomena is examined in detail. Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion are then developed as a direct consequence of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
This is an introductory course that examines the basic laws of chemistry from a semi-quantitative point of view. The course begins with a brief review of the general properties of matter and atomic structure. The principles are applied to the periodic table and its observed order is shown to conform to the predictions of quantum mechanics.
Students then begin a formal study of chemistry with the introduction of chemical symbols, chemical formulas, naming compounds, and determining molecular and empirical formulas. Students then discuss the mole, Avogadro’s Number, percentage compositions, and determining molecular and empirical formulas, which leads to the study of chemical reactions, writing balanced equations, and classifying chemical changes.
The properties of the periodic table are explored in detail with specific emphasis upon the relationship between properties and position, metals, nonmetals, and transition metals. The nature of chemical bonding is explored (ionic, covalent, metallic) as are molecular structures and polar molecules.
Finally, chemical reactions are examined in detail with particular emphasis on reaction rates, the nature of acids, bases, and salts, oxidation-reduction reactions, and electrochemistry.
Prerequisite: Math I
A successful laboratory experience is an integral and essential element of ISM’s science program.
A principal goal of the laboratory is to acquaint students with the various ways in which data can be collected and analyzed. The laboratory also reinforces the important concepts of a course by complementing the mostly theoretical treatment of a concept that is presented in class with the hands-on, practical experience that can only be gained in the laboratory.
In the beginning science courses, students are introduced to the scientific method and learn to make observations, record and analyze data, and draw conclusions. Representative activities involve electric circuits, ecosystems, weather, use of microscopes to examine plant and animal cells, interactions between aquatic and terrestrial organisms, light, color, prisms, lenses, and mirrors.
8th Grade Western World
The course, Western World, is designed to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the geography, history, politics and economics of the regions (and more specifically of the countries) that make up the Western Hemisphere. Students begin the year learning about geography, its branches and the essential elements. Next students study the planet Earth, the sun’s energy, water and land. In addition, they gain knowledge of climate, environment and natural resources. Finally, they are exposed to the people, culture, history and physical geography of the Western world.
9th Grade Eastern World
The course, Eastern World, is designed to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the geography, history, politics and economics of the regions (and more specifically of the countries) that make up the Eastern Hemisphere. Students learn about the origins and spread, beliefs and practices of the three monotheistic religions. They then study the countries that make up the Eastern world by looking particularly at the people who live there, the physical geography, history, traditions and cultures of the region.
10th Grade Human Legacy Part I (World History)
This course, Human Legacy I, is designed to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of Western History between the Fifteenth and Nineteenth centuries. The course begins with the Renaissance and takes students through the Age of Exploration and Expansion to the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. In addition, we will explore the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and finally, the Age of Imperialism.
11th Grade Human Legacy Part II
The course, Human Legacy II, is designed to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of Twentieth Century history. The course begins with the events leading up to World War I. It then explores the interwar period and World War II. This is followed by a discussion of the Cold War and post-Cold War world. The last part of the course focuses on contemporary issues.
Arithmetic is the last course prior to the algebra and geometry of our mathematics core, Math One through Math Three. In preparation for algebra, students complete their mastery of the basic arithmetic operations over the set of non-negative rational numbers. In geometry, they complete their study of linear measurement, area and volume. Additional topics include dimensional analysis and elementary combinatorics. Students develop the ability to deal with abstraction through observing and stating the various properties of addition and multiplication.
The Curriculum Provides a Foundation of basic algbra Concepts, techniques and applications. It enables students to communicate mathematical ideas effectively and prepares them for more advanced work.
The instructional approach to Algebra 1 is exploratory. It emphasizes Opportunity to communicate ideas and opinions. Mathematics teaches the students to think and be able to solve real world problems. Students develop quantitative reasoning and problem solving skills.
Students are exploring figures, creating definitions and looking for geometric relationships . They use inductive and deductive thinking , they select and implement appropriate reasoning and proof methodologies .Students use mathematical language ,symbols, graphs, charts, and diagrams. They identify and implement strategies to solve problems; they recognize connections between mathematical ideas and relationships between mathematics and other disciplines.
Students create visual representations of different functions. Increasingly complex algebraic concepts that require comparisons are also explored. Students learn to make generalizations, draw conclusions, see relationships and apply these to increasingly complex, real-life situations.
Students are provided with strong foundation of concepts, techniques and applications for further , more advanced geometry, discrete mathematics and data analysis. The methodology used encourages active learning and problem-solving skills.
Pre-calculus is anticipating the Calculus course.
The ACC Art Department offers students exciting and stimulating experiences with a wide variety of media, balancing free ideas with strict observational work. Given the necessary opportunities, students communicate and express themselves visually and become self-motivated, intuitive, and confident in their expressions. The work is structured with the continued exploration of the following elements or disciplines: Line, Shape, Form, Tone, Texture and Color, and the relationship of these to each other.
The aim of the Art Department is to offer all students a fundamental experience of a range of media, balancing free ideas with strict observational work. Given the necessary opportunities, students should in their own way communicate and express themselves visually and become more self-motivated, intuitive, and confident. The work is structured with the continued exploration of the following elements or disciplines:
and the relationship of these to each other.
Drawing is the most important discipline of the art course, as an expression in its own right, as well as a basis for exploration in further media. If one can draw even a little, one can express all kinds of ideas that might otherwise be lost. Drawing helps you put your thoughts in order and helps you think in different ways. It can help you solve problems. It naturally gives you a sense of harmony.
Art plays a fundamental role in any learning environment. It is used as a tool to stimulate interest, Inquiry, investigation, research, exploration – in short, learning and understanding.
Individuals produce much art independently. However, there are many exercises that are group produced and others where individuals contribute to a total group effort.
Finished selected artwork is exhibited in all areas around The School. Such displays provide a visual presence and constant reminder of how vital, flexible and integrated art is in The School. The process of creativity should be regarded as much as the finished products, perhaps even more so.
Performing Arts and Music
Our music curriculum at ACC is a sequential study of the eight elements of music: dynamics, rhythm, pitch, tone color, tempo, texture, form, and style. Students learn musical concepts through singing, listening, visual media, theory games, music composition, children’s literature, creative movement, and playing instruments. Folk, band, and orchestra instruments and their ensembles are studied in special units, as are various vocal styles and ensembles, preparing students for the numerous musical genres of
Students in drama class will produce the Middle School play or musical and will be responsible for all aspects of production including: acting, publicity, programs, sets, lights and sound. This is an Intro to Acting class and is based on creative dramatic exercises, games, story telling, improvisation and scenes.
Our Physical Education program contributes to the total growth and development of each child. The physical education instructors at ACC strive to improve students’ physical fitness, motor skills, and sport technique. Our program emphasizes sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership, and self-esteem. We encourage an appreciation for team sports and the benefits of a physically active lifestyle.
Physical Education begins in Kindergarten and continues through tenth grade. Electives are available for 11th and 12th grade students.
Major areas of instruction include:
Gross Motor Skills
Cooperatives and Team Building
Individual and Team Sports
The course, Sociology, is designed to provide students with general knowledge of the social science of Sociology. Students will begin with a discussion of the development of the field of Sociology. This will be followed by a discussion of culture. In addition, students will look at institutions including religion and politics from a sociological perspective. Finally, the course will discuss contemporary issues related to modernization and globalization.
The course, Psychology, is designed to provide students with general knowledge of the social science of Psychology. Students will begin with an introduction to Psychology and psychological methods. They will then explore chapters on the body and mind, specifically looking at behavior, sensations and perceptions. In addition, they will learn about a person’s development, starting from infancy and childhood and moving into adulthood. They will also explore how personalities are developed. Finally, they will learn about social psychology and how it affects their social cognition.
The course, Economics, is designed to provide students with general knowledge of the science Economics. Students will begin with an introduction to Economics. They will then learn about different Economic systems. In addition, they will delve deeper into the subject and learn about microeconomics, specifically about supply and demand, what affects markets and how governments play a role in economics. Finally, they will learn about international economics.
The course, Marketing, is designed to provide a basic introduction to the scope and importance of marketing in the global economy. An emphasis is placed on oral and written communications, problem-solving and critical thinking skills as they relate to advertizing/promotion/selling, distribution, financing, marketing-information management, and pricing and product/service management.
The course, Environmental Science, is an interdisciplinary course that integrates biology, Earth science, chemistry and other disciplines. Students conduct scientific studies of ecosystems, population dynamics, resource management, and environmental consequences of natural processes.
The basis of the course, Health, is to help students adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. Health education should contribute directly to a student’s ability to successfully practice behaviors that protect and promote health and avoid or reduce health risks.