Academics » Program of Studies

Program of Studies

Mathematics

The Math Department has a four-year graduation requirement.  The course offerings are the following:  Math  I, Math II, Math III, Pre-Calculus, Statistics, AP Calculus,  AP Statistics, Discrete Mathematics, Advanced Quantitative Reasoning, Financial Literacy, Advanced Topics in Science (can fulfill Math and Science requirements, Biomedical Science (can fulfill Math and Science requirements), Algebra Supplemental, Geometry Supplemental, Economics, Engineering Physics, and International Finance.  The appropriate course sequence for grades 9-12 should be discussed with your counselor prior to selection.

Math I

This course is available to freshmen students. This course consists of all the topics in a first year college preparatory Algebra course. Included topics are evaluating expressions based on basic properties of the rational numbers, determining the perimeter and area of various polygons, solving equations and inequalities, solving linear equations in two variables, and modeling real-world social issues data. In addition, concepts of data analysis and statistics will be integrated throughout the course. Students will be evaluated using a standards-based grading system.

Products:

  • Solving Equations Posters
  • System of Equations Project
  • Exhibition
  • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically


Math II

This course is an applied study of Euclidean geometry through inductive and deductive reasoning, analysis, construction and interpretation of geometric figures and relationships. Topics included are angles, lines and other measures, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruence and similarity, quadrilaterals and other polygons. The course also includes a study of algebraic concepts. Prerequisite: Algebra I


Products:     

  • Mini-projects each term
  • End of Term Common Exams
  • End of Year Common Final Exam


Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically

Math III

Advanced Algebra is a standards-based course in advanced algebraic reasoning, applications and problem-solving. The course is designed to prepare students for college algebra and pre-calculus. In this course, students will learn to analyze and represent concepts numerically, analytically, graphically, and verbally. The students are required to use reasoning, communication, and technology to solve various algebraic and real-world problems. Prerequisite: Algebra I


Products:     

  • Mini-projects each term
  • End of Term Common Exams
  • End of Year Common Final Exam

Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically


Pre-Calculus
Pre-Calculus is a standards-based course in advanced algebraic and geometric reasoning, applications and problem-solving. The course is designed to prepare students for AP Calculus. In this course, students will learn to analyze and represent concepts numerically, analytically, graphically, and verbally. The students are required to use reasoning, communication, manipulatives, and technology to solve various algebraic, geometric, trigonometric and real-world problems. The course will also include trigonometric proofs, complex numbers, parametric relations and beginning topics of Calculus. Prerequisite: Advanced Algebra and Geometry


Products:

  • Function Family Project
  • Value of Education Project
  • End of Term Exams
  • End of Year Final Exam


Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically

AP Calculus

This course introduces Differential and Integral Calculus. The emphasis on the course is to develop a deeper understanding of the Derivative and Integral so that students understand more complicated situations that arrive in math. Topics include functions, definition of the Derivative, Differential rules, Chain rule, Implicit Differentiation, Curve Sketching, Max-min, Related Rates, Riemann Sums, Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and Techniques of Integration for area and volume. The class will learn how to use a graphing calculator to supplement their learning, not just as a tool to find answers. Students will take the AP Calculus exam in May. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus or Pre-Calc Summer Bridge Program at Northeastern University


Course Objectives:

  • To develop students’ understanding of the concepts of Calculus and providing experience with its methods and applications
  • To offer a multi-representational approach to calculus with concepts, results, and problems being expressed graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally
  • To understand that Calculus is not simply manipulation nor memorization of extensive rules
  • To use technology to reinforce the relationships among multiple representations of functions, to confirm written work, to implement experimentation, and to assist in interpreting results
  • To understand Calculus as a cohesive whole rather than a collection of unrelated topics
  • To prepare students for the AP Exam

Products:

  • Tootsie Roll Project (Related Rates)
  • Drive Project (Numerical Integration)
  • Creek Project (Riemann Sums)
  • Baseball Project (Differentials)
  • End of Term Exams
  • End of Year Final Exam
  • Past AP Exams
  • AP Exam

Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically



Statistics

This senior-year course is designed to examine the concepts of Center, Spread, and Shape of one-variable data. The course will also focus on two-variable data sets as well as designing observational and experimental experiments. The importance of the Central Limit Theorem and Sample size will be covered as well as how to make an inference about data in order to help in decision making. At BCLA, Statistics is also designed to complement the Senior Civics course in designing and analyzing data around their chosen Civics issue. Students will work toward completing an Exhibition toward their Civics project that will include: Data Collection and making inferences about the data from the study. Prerequisite: Advanced Algebra


Course Objectives:

  • To examine distributions of data and detect important characteristics, such as shape, location, variability and unusual features
  • To observe patterns in data and generate conjectures about relationships among variables
  • To connect the notion of how one variable may be associated with another permeates almost all of statistics by making simple comparisons of proportions through linear regression
  • To understand the difference between association and causation
  • To understand that if data is to be collected to provide an answer to a question of interest, a careful plan must be developed
  • To collect data in a reasonable way, through either sampling or experimentation 
  • To analyze data and draw conclusions from data in an appropriate way that depends on how the data was collected
  • To understand that random phenomena are not haphazard; they display an order that emerges only in the long run and is described by a distribution
  • To understand that the mathematical description of variation is central to statistics
  • To use models to draw conclusions from data, while the data is allowed to criticize and even falsify the model through inferential and diagnostic methods
  • To select a reasonable model, including a statement in probability language, when making an inference from data

Products:

  • Mathematics Projects with Authentic Contexts
  • End of Term Final Exams
  • Interdisciplinary Exhibition
  • End of Year Final Exam


Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically


AP Statistics

The BCLA AP Statistics course is designed to prepare students for the AP Exam as well as complement the Senior Civics course in analyzing data around their chosen Civics issue. The course will examine the concepts of Center, Spread, and Shape of one-variable data. The course will also focus on two-variable datasets as well as designing observational and experimental experiments. The importance of the Central Limit Theorem and Sample size will be covered as well as how to make an inference about data in order to help in decision-making. Prerequisite: Advanced Algebra or Recommendation


Course Objectives:

  • Appreciate the role of statistics in understanding our world
  • To examine distributions of data and detect important characteristics, such as shape, location, variability and unusual features
  • To observe patterns in data and generate conjectures about relationships among variables
  • To connect the notion of how one variable may be associated with another permeates almost all of statistics by making simple comparisons of proportions through linear regression
  • To understand the difference between association and causation.
  • Use simulation to replicate experimental conditions
  • Use calculator and computer technology and software to enhance understanding of statistics
  • To collect data in a reasonable way, through either sampling or experimentation
  • To analyze data and draw conclusions from data in an appropriate way that depends on how the data was collected
  • To understand that if data is to be collected to provide an answer to a question of interest, a careful plan must be developed
  • To understand that random phenomena are not haphazard; they display an order that emerges only in the long run and is described by a distribution.
  • Understand the language and laws of probability
  • Explore sampling and probability distributions
  • To understand that the mathematical description of variation is central to statistics
  • To use models to draw conclusions from data, while the data is allowed to criticize and even falsify the model through inferential and diagnostic methods
  • Conduct significance tests using z-, p-, t-, and chi-square and regression statistics
  • Construct confidence intervals with z-, p-, t-, and regression statistics
  • Apply statistical methods to a research question
  • To select a reasonable model when making an inference from data

Products:

  • Mathematics Projects with Authentic Contexts (Investigations)
  • How-to-Guides of Course Topics
  • End of UNIT Exams
  • End of Year Final Exam
  • Past AP Exams (FRAPPY’s)
  • AP Exam

Primary Academic Expectation: Solve complex problems and think critically



9-12

Math (1 semester)


Advanced Quantitative Reasoning (45H)

Combinatorics, Sequences, and Graph Theory

This course focuses on the creative side of mathematics, with an emphasis on discovery, reasoning, proofs and effective communication, while at the same time studying  sequences, combinations, and networks. Along the way, you'll learn some powerful pieces of mathematics, and how to use them to solve some of life's most pressing questions and puzzles like these: Why is 5x5 called 5-squared? How many great-great-grandmothers does a male bee have? How many tables will you need at your wedding?

9-12

Math (1 semester)


Discrete Mathematics (45C)

Number Theory, Modular Arithmetic, Alternative Bases

When does 5 + 10 = 3? How does time work on Neptune? What do eggs have to do with grapes? How would life be different if we only had six fingers? This course uses puzzles, riddles, and ice cream to explore some of the biggest ideas that mathematicians have been studying for hundreds of years. This course is intended to share with high schoolers all the weird, fun, and out-there math typically saved for college and professional mathematicians.

9-12

Math (1 semester)


Financial Literacy (65P)

Budgeting, Banking, Credit, Investing, Taxes

This course is designed to alert, inform, and educate students in concepts of personal finance and money management. Students will begin to develop the skills and strategies that promote personal and financial responsibility related to financial planning, savings, and investment. Five broad topics will be the foundation of the course: college and career planning, money management, savings and investing, income, and spending.

9-12

Math (1 semester)


Statistics (45D)

Exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference

The purpose of the course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

Exploring data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns

Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study

Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation

Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

11-12

Math or Senior Science (1 semester)


Advanced Topics in Science (55A)

Infectious Diseases, Neurological Disorders

In this part of the Math Bio course, students will dive into learning about Infectious Diseases and the math and science to help monitor the spread of an epidemic as well as practices to prevent the spread.  Next, students will investigate Neurological Disorders and Diseases and the history of the cases that helped scientists understand the functions and limitations of the brain.  Both major units will cover the science and math behind understanding these diseases and disorders. Biology is a prerequisite for this course.

11-12

Math or Senior Science (1 semester)


Biomedical Science (55E)

Metabolic Diseases, Cancer

In this part of the Math Bio course, students will dive into learning about Metabolic Diseases (diseases related to eating and digestion) and science behind healthy ways to eat.  We then cover Cancer as the last topic and look into the research that is happening to understand and prevent different kinds of cancer.  Both major units will cover the science and math behind understanding these diseases. Biology is a prerequisite for this course.

9

Math (1 semester)


Algebra Supplemental (45B)

Math 1 Intervention

This course is available to freshmen students and strongly recommended for students who may need support in Math to succeed in high school Math.  This course consists of all the topics in a first year college preparatory Algebra course. Included topics are evaluating expressions based on basic properties of the rational numbers, determining the perimeter and area of various polygons, solving equations and inequalities, solving linear equations in two variables, and modeling real-world social issues data. In addition, concepts of data analysis and statistics will be integrated throughout the course. 

10

Math (1 semester)


Geometry Supplemental (453)

Math 2 Intervention

This course is available to 10th grade students and strongly recommended for students who may need support to succeed in high school Math. It is the study and review of geometry through inductive and deductive reasoning, analysis, construction and interpretation of geometric figures and relationships. Topics included are angles, lines and other measures, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruence and similarity, quadrilaterals and other polygons. The course also includes a study of algebraic concepts. 

9-12

Math (1 semester)


Economics (25K)

Microeconomics

This course covers topics in Microeconomics. We will start with basic economic concepts in microeconomics, such as the nature and functions of product markets. Then look at factor markets, market failure, and the role of government.

9-12

Math (1 semester)


International Finance (65K)

Macroeconomics

This course covers topics in Macroeconomics. We will study more global economic concepts, such as measurement of economic performance, national income and price determination, the financial sector, inflation, unemployment, and stabilization policies, economic growth and productivity, open economy, and international trade and finance.

9-12

Math (1 semester)


55L (Engineering Physics)

Mathematical Physics

Physics is applicable in almost every situation--you just might not have thought about it. How can planes fly and stay in the air? How do rockets pierce the atmosphere and travel through space? How come waterfalls naturally don't run out of water? Why is the mirror in the dressing room better than the one you have at home? Using math as both a foundation and tool, we will answer these questions and more.

Science

The Science Department has a four-course/20-credit graduation requirement. Grade 9 students, with the exception of English Language Learners, take Biology and take the Biology MCAS statewide exam. Because it is less vocabulary intensive, English Language Learners take Physics in 9th grade and take the Physics MCAS. All students will take one year each of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and must pass a science MCAS before they graduate BCLA. Students choose or apply to a fourth science class in Grade 12.

Courses in the Science department focus on mastery of the Read for Meaning Academic Expectation. The Reading for Meaning Rubric is a tool used to assess how a student understands and engages with a text. The rubric assesses students by breaking reading into four component parts: determining importance, monitoring for meaning, interpreting, and evaluating. Two to four times a year, the BCLA Science team administers common assessments where students take notes on an assigned text. This rubric is used to assess the students’ reading as a way of understanding and assessing the progress our students make in these reading indicators. 


Biology

The central theme of this standards-based biology course will be the study of the relationships between living organisms and their environments. Major topics include: ecology, organization and function of cells, inheritance, evolution, and the chemistry of life. 


Products:

  • Unit Projects
  • Lab Reports
  • Mid-Year Exam
  • Final Exam

Primary Academic Expectation: Read for meaning


Chemistry

This standards-based chemistry course introduces the fundamental principles of chemistry. Content standards include the following: composition of matter, atomic structure and theory, nuclear chemistry, periodicity, chemical bonding, chemical and physical reactions, reactions and stoichiometry, states of matter, kinetic molecular theory, solutions, and oxidation-reduction reactions. The course focuses on inorganic chemistry with emphasis on quantitative relationships and analytical reasoning. The course examines these concepts with lecture, demonstrations, classroom discussions, and hands-on laboratory sessions.



Products:

  • Chemistry Exhibition
  • Lab Reports
  • Mid-Year Exam
  • Final Exam

Primary Academic Expectation: Read for meaning

Physics

This is a standards-based, inquiry-based, college preparatory course. Topics of study include the following: motion and forces, conservation of energy & momentum, heat and heat transfer, waves, electromagnetism and electromagnetic radiation. The coursework examines the physical principles that operate in everyday experiences such as sports, home, music and communications. For each topic, students are challenged to articulate in a culminating project how the physical principles explain the experience. The students prepare for this project through a series of activities that introduce the physical principles. Students will take the Physics MCAS.


Products:

  • Term Exams including Final and Midterm Exams
  • Term Projects
  • Concept Maps
  • Lab Reports 

Primary Academic Expectation: Read for meaning

Issues In Science for Leaders

  • Full year, 1 credit course
  • Prerequisites: Passed 3 years of lab science (Physics, Bio, and Chem)
  • Students will deepen your understanding of Physics, Biology and Chemistry by applying what they’ve learned. Students will learn about pressing social justice and ethical issues, and how to use science to understand them and argue about them. Should the government be able to require parents to vaccinate their children? Should you agree to get a genetic test? Do you want the world to know what’s in your DNA, and how can information from genetic testing be used for good or evil? How serious is climate change? Who has caused the problems of increased extreme weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, etc) and who suffers the most? What are the technological and political solutions, and how can we take action here at BCLA?
  • (Note: this will NOT be the same class that was taught in 2018-2019, no Acellus!)

Exploring Computer Science

  • Full year, 1 credit course
  • Prerequisites: Passed 3 years of lab science (Physics, Bio, and Chem)
  • Passed Geometry or taking Geometry at the same time (projects and labs will include geometric concepts such as cartesian coordinates, and polygons).
  • This course is an introductory programming course that helps prepare students for more advanced programming courses. 1st semester we learn how to use Snap!, a visual block-based programming language, introducing students to coding for the first time. In the 2nd semester we transition to text-based programming using the Python language. Learn to read and write this!

English Language Arts

The English department has a four-year/20-credit graduation requirement. Students take 9th and 10th grade English and then have the option of Advanced Placement courses in the 11th and 12th grade.

Courses in the English department focus on mastery of the Write Effectively for a Variety of Purposes Academic Expectation. The BCLA Analytical Writing Rubric represents the English Team’s expectations of the essential components of good analytical academic writing. Though many types of writing are assessed in the content areas, this rubric is meant only to assess analytical academic writing.

College English 9

This standards-based course introduces students to English Language Arts at BCLA by investigating various genres. The essential question is: What life lessons can we learn by studying literature? 


This essential question will be examined by analyzing novels, short stories, plays, poems, non-fiction, popular culture, and other sources. While studying each genre, students will focus on understanding significant literary terms, analyzing character development, and examining and explaining thematic trends. Ongoing units also focus on increasing students’ grammar, vocabulary, and independent reading skills. 


College English 9 meets Massachusetts learning and BCLA performance standards.


Products:

  • Analytical Essays
  • Persuasive Essays
  • Literary Analysis
  • Oral History Projects
  • Research Projects
  • Original Poems and Short Stories
  • Independent Projects
  • Group Presentations
  • Portfolio Reflective Essays

Primary Academic Expectation: Write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences

College English 10

This course introduces students to many figures of literature and focuses on how people use language to influence others. In this course, we will investigate the essential question through a variety of genres and practice literacy as we articulate our thinking. In line with the BCLA English department goals across grade-levels, this class prepares students to engage with society as highly literate and reflective leaders. This class will also prepare students for the benchmarks they must pass to gain admittance to further education. We will practice skills needed to earn Proficient and Advanced standing on the MCAS. Additionally, we will work on fulfilling the core mission of BCLA, meet Massachusetts learning standards, and achieve the performance standards for 10th grade. We will also work with complex materials so that students upon leaving this course will be equipped to take advanced placement courses should they elect to do so. 


Products:

  • Literary Analysis Essays
  • Personal Research Advocacy Project
  • Ongoing Reading Response Journals
  • Reading Comprehension Quizzes and Tests
  • Reflective Essays Responding to Essential Question

Primary Academic Expectation: Write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences


AP Literature and Composition

This course serves as an equivalent to an introductory college-level literature course which prepares students for the reading and writing expected in college-level course of study in literature. This course builds on the ideas of examining the role of language and literature in society, by focusing on the question: When we look at texts, what makes them effective tools for change? 


Utilizing the reading and writing skills practiced throughout the course, students will be able to formulate a reasoned response on the qualities of effective writing by the end of the year. Through the study of various novels and poems of literary merit from the British and classical tradition, students will be able to demonstrate analysis of how authors use literary techniques to convey themes. The Advanced Placement exam is expected of all students in this course. A score of 3 or above on the AP Test in Language and Literature may be accepted as college credit. This is a nationally recognized curriculum and standardized assessment from the College Board.


Products:

  • Style Analysis Essays (poetry and prose)
  • Theme Analysis Essays
  • Original Sonnet and Artist Statement
  • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences



AP Language and Composition

This course extends the objectives of Citizen Rhetoric, requiring students to expand their analytical and persuasive skills to meet the demands of a college-level composition and communications course. The course builds on the themes from 11th grade by focusing on how students can use literacy to affect change. The course’s essential question is: When we look at texts, what makes them effective tools for change? 


After an introduction to rhetoric, the course is organized into thematic units: education, work, community, gender, sports and fitness, language, science and technology, popular culture, nature, and politics. In each unit, students will examine fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visuals in order to learn how to use and analyze rhetoric effectively. By the end of the year students will be able to synthesize sources; utilize logical, emotional, and ethical appeals; and carefully choose diction and syntax in order to answer the course’s essential question through their portfolio. The Advanced Placement exam is expected of all students in this course. A score of 3 or above on the AP Test in Language and Composition may be accepted as college credit for entering college. This is a nationally recognized curriculum and standardized assessment from the College Board. 


Products:

  • Vocabulary Assessments
  • Synthesis Essays
  • Argumentative Essays
  • Argumentative Speeches
  • Rhetorical Analyses
  • Student-Created AP Test Questions
  • Exhibition—Panel Discussion
  • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences

English Language Learners

Courses in the English Language Learners department focus on mastery of the Communicate Clearly Academic Expectation. The BCLA rubric to measure clear communication is designed to specifically assess oral presentations by students. Students also learn how to communicate effectively in reading and writing, and students in ESL 1 and ESL 2 also receive ELA content in these classes. 


English as a Second Language 1

The English as a Second Language 1 (ESL1) Course is for beginning English Language Learners at the high school level. Students will learn English and other academic (school) skills that will help them in all of their classes and beyond. At the end of the year, students should be able to:

  • Understand most personal and school conversations
  • Read and comprehend different English texts without using a bilingual dictionary
  • Write for different purposes in a well-organized way using appropriate details and vocabulary
  • Give a formal presentation in English in front of an audience about a topic they have researched and prepared 

What does it take to communicate?

This is the big question we will investigate in this course. Like all big questions, it does not have an easy answer. We will read, write, discuss, and reflect to find an answer for ourselves. At the end of the year, students will present their answer to this question with a portfolio. We will also develop organization and study skills. If you are organized and know how to study, then you have the power to become a successful and independent learner. Students will know how to become smarter by putting in effort and hard work. An important part of becoming smarter is learning how to think. So while we think, we will think about our thinking. For example, students will have to think about what we are reading, how we are reading it, and why it is important. This will help in all of their subjects. 


Products:

  • Lifeline Project
  • Life in My Country Project Analytical Essay
  • Research Project
  • Informational Texts
  • Instructional Text
  • Original Play
  • Poetry Presentation 
  • Short Story/Chapter Project
  • Response to Literature
  • Final Portfolio Essay and Presentation

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly; Write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences


English as a Second Language 2

The ESL 2 Course at BCLA is designed for early intermediate and intermediate English Language Learners at the high school level. In this course we will work on both English skills and academic skills, so that students can be successful in all courses.

At the end of this year, students should be able to:

  • Understand the content and structure of academic conversations about a subject studied, including commonly used academic expressions
  • Read a variety of texts in different genres
  • Analyze and interpret texts for organizational and literary features
  • Write a well-organized essay including a thesis statement or claim, logical points with supportive details, and a conclusion that demonstrates understanding of purpose and audience
  • Give an oral presentation demonstrating audience awareness and professional preparation

How does language give me power? 

This is the big question we will investigate in this course. Like all big questions, it does not have an easy answer. We will read, write, discuss, and reflect to find an answer for ourselves. At the end of the year, students will present their answer to this question with a portfolio. Students will know how to become smarter by putting in effort and hard work. An important part of becoming smarter is learning how to think. So while we think, we will think about our thinking. For example, students will have to think about what they are reading, how they are reading it, and why it is important. This will help students in all subjects.


Products:

  • Narrative (short story/memoir)
  • Poetry
  • Analytical/Reflective Essays
  • Structured Open Responses
  • Literary Analysis
  • Multi-form Research Project
  • Poetry
  • Shakespeare Project (including Expository Research Essay and Literary        Analysis)
  • Final Portfolio Essay and Presentation

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly; Write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences


English as a Second Language 3

The ESL3 Course is a comprehensive look at the guidelines and strategies needed for good academic reading and writing. It is intended to prepare students for the different kinds of reading and writing they will need to do in high school, college, in many jobs, and as citizens. By the end of the year students will be able to use several active reading strategies, the five stages of the writing process, and the six traits of effective writing. These skills will be applied and demonstrated through the development of sentences, paragraphs, and entire papers. The course is organized into units that help students develop writing according to the stages and traits listed below. In each unit, students will read examples of good writing, write original pieces, and further develop their writing for other classes.


Products:

  • Making Inferences in Reading and Writing
  • Identifying Mood and Tone in Reading and Writing
  • Using Commonly Confused Words
  • Effective Topic Sentences
  • Expository Writing
  • Narrative Writing
  • Descriptive Writing

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly

English as a Second Language 4

The ESL4 Course is a comprehensive look at the guidelines and strategies needed for good academic reading and writing. This course encompasses the four domains of English Language Learning while also building on the skills being taught in College English 11. The four domains of ELL are reading, writing, speaking and listening. In ESL 4 students will learn reading strategies and literary analysis concepts which will enable them to think critically about literature. Students will learn to identify evidence, and explain it in well-organized paragraphs. Grammar skills are also reviewed, as necessary, for intermediate language learners. Students will be able to peer-edit and self-edit essays. Products include oral presentations, essays, tests and creative writing assignments.


Products:

  • Oral presentations
  • Essays
  • Tests
  • Creative writing assignments

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly

History

The History Department has a four-year/20-credit graduation requirement. Courses in the History Department focus on mastery of the Utilize Research Academic Expectation. The school-wide research rubric represents a set of skills needed in the research process and demonstrated in a finished product. The rubric captures what students have mastered—skills such as vetting sources, narrowing a topic, taking notes, creating an outline—and emphasizes the more sophisticated rigors of pre-college level work. The rubric will be used to assess research projects at each grade level.


US History I

During the course of the year, we will explore the first half of United States history, namely the period between 1763 and 1865. We will focus on the historical circumstances leading up to the foundation of the United States of America, the institution of slavery, the expansion of our country across North America, the Abolition Movement, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, to name a few. Throughout the course of the year we will be exploring one year long essential question: How do the choices people make affect history? A considerable amount of time will be spent discussing the “peculiar institution” of slavery in America and its central role during the founding and development of our country. We will go in-depth into the framing of our nation’s founding documents, namely the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, to explore the controversy regarding slavery (or the possession of human beings as property). 


Products:

  • “What is History” Essay
  • Mid-year Assessment
  • Research Paper
  • End-of-the-year Assessment
  • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Utilize research


US History II

This course focuses on United States history from the Reconstruction Era (1877) to the present. The course will address concepts of power, leadership, and social justice as well as outline the geographic, political, economic, social and cultural developments of the United States throughout the eras. In addition, this course will allow students to enhance their historical and academic skills, such as critical thinking, writing, and reading various texts. The course will also emphasize developing the ability to contextualize different events, ideas, policies, themes, and trends in U.S. history. In addition we will look at change over time in relation to our identities as individual people and as a nation. 


Our essential question for the year is: From 1870 to the present, how did the United States fail or achieve its ideals of a free and equal democracy? 


Products:

  • “What is History” Expository Essay
  • “Imperialism or Humanity” Analytical Essay
  • Research Essay
  • Exhibition
  • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Utilize research

World History

This course is a survey of World History since the European rise to power starting from Columbus’s arrival in the Americas in 1492. It will particularly focus on contemporary issues resulting from European colonization and imperialism such as ethnic conflict, indigenous movements, human rights, poverty, women’s rights, and environmental destruction, all of which affect us in today’s globalizing world. We will study these issues through the lenses of change-makers who have utilized their power to effect positive change in the world: Nobel Laureates Rigoberta Menchu, Wangari Maathai, and Gandhi. 


Products:

Along with Exhibition, Research Paper, and Portfolio, students will complete various essays and a final term project each quarter:

  • Why is It Important to Study World History Essay
  • How does one make change Essay
  • Global Problems Essay
  • Rigoberta Menchu Change-maker Project
  • Wangari Maathai Change-maker Essay
  • Gandhi Essay
  • Research Paper and Exhibition (Individual Project)
  • Nominations for next year’s Nobel Prize Winner (Individual Project; Class decision) 

Primary Academic Expectation: Utilize research

Civics: Power, Rights, and Community Change

This class is a community service learning course that uses Participatory Action Research to deepen the students’ understanding of government so that they become active citizens capable of making positive changes. The class begins with an examination of the functions of federal, state and local governments. In the fall, students will pay particular attention to elections (Mayoral, City Council, Governor, or President).


The course will include a section on the students’ rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States. Then through a series of case studies, the class will learn how U.S. citizens, many of them young people, have influenced federal state and local decision-making. Based on these models, students will work in groups to research and write about a civic issue of concern to them and their communities. Their research will include interviews and observations outside of the classroom.


The culminating activity will be a group presentation before school leaders and members of the community. Students will explain their research, and present recommendations for change in their area of concern.


Products:

  • Debates on Political Campaigns 
  • Letter to Political Leaders
  • Analysis of Supreme Court Decisions
  • Individual and Group Papers for Students’ Participatory Action Research Projects
  • Presentation of Group Projects to the School and the Community

Primary Academic Expectation: Utilize research

World Languages

BCLA requires that students take at least 2 years of a foreign language. Courses in the World Languages department focus on mastery of the Communicate Clearly Academic Expectation. The BCLA rubric to measure clear communication is designed to specifically assess oral presentations by students. Students will be assessed using the rubric two times a year at exhibitions during presentations. 


Spanish I

This course aims to introduce students to the language of Spanish in two ways: culturally and grammatically. The teacher expects students to become more sensitive to other cultures, specifically Hispanic culture, through the comprehension of the language structure and the appreciation of cultural traditions. 


This course emphasizes the four forms of the language learning process: writing, reading, speaking, and listening. The course, with the use of technology tools, will be used to enhance the learning of grammar. For better cultural understanding, students are expected to work cooperatively in class, to participate in field trips to museums, to international expositions, visit typical restaurants, and in listening to guest speakers. For this reason, students will gain a better understanding of other cultures and be able to compare them to their own cultures. Thus, they will become more aware and tolerant of different ideologies.


Products:

  • Clock
  • Seasons, Months, and Days of the Year Posters
  • Various Skits
  • Fashion Show
  • Restaurant Field Trip
  • Comprehensive Quizzes and Tests
  • Portfolio 

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly


Spanish II

The objective of this course is to develop a working knowledge of the Spanish language and to acquire an awareness of Hispanic and Latino cultures. This course introduces the fundamental elements of the Spanish language within a cultural context. 


Emphasis is on the development of basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Upon completion, students should be able to comprehend and respond with grammatical accuracy to basic spoken and written Spanish as well as demonstrate cultural awareness.


Products:

  • Soap opera/Novella
  • Various Skits
  • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly

Spanish III and IV

Spanish III and IV are an in-depth courses that will review and study many of the same topics presented in Spanish I and II but to greater degrees. Speaking, writing, and reading skills will expand as students are challenged with the language. Students will continue to study Hispanic culture and traditions, and will have the opportunity to make presentations about the culture. They will be introduced to higher-level vocabulary, newspaper, and magazine articles from Spain and Latin America. They will also be introduced to the works of some of the major writers of the Spanish-speaking world. At all times, the primary focus will be to increase the ability to communicate in Spanish with ease and confidence.


Products:

    • Soap opera/Novella
    • Various Skits
    • Portfolio

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly

AP Spanish Language

The AP Spanish Language course should help prepare students to demonstrate their level of Spanish proficiency across three communicative modes: Interpersonal (interactive communication); Interpretive (receptive communication); presentational (productive communication). 


Students will also demonstrate their proficiency of the five goal areas outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. This course is meant to be comparable to third-year college and university courses that focus on speaking and writing in the target language at an advanced level.


Products:

  • Poetry Board – “Poesia Favorita”
  • Presentation Essay (formal)
  • Socratic Seminars
  • Current Events 
  • Literary Analysis Organizers
  • Bio-Posters of Hispanic Authors

Primary Academic Expectation: Communicate clearly

Special Education

The Special Education department at BCLA serves students that have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Students are placed in sub-separate or inclusion classes based on their learning needs and the services outlined in their IEP.

Multi-Disciplinary Class (MDC)

The Multi-Discipline Class is a program for students with Autism and its related disorders. The goal of this program is to provide educational services for students in their least restrictive environment. Students in this program range in age from 14 to 22. Each student is held to the expectation that they will demonstrate progress toward their individual education goals; further develop their academic skills in all areas; and acquire independent living skills that will allow them to functionally apply these skills. 


The MDC follows a modified curriculum that is aligned to the individual goals of each student; BCLA grade requirements; the MCAS standards; and standards from the National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities. Content areas are included in this scope in the following ways within these grade clusters:


9-10


English Language Arts: Language, Reading and Literature, Composition

Math: Algebra and Geometry

Science: Biology and Chemistry

History: US History 1 and 2

Wellness: Social-Emotional and Health Development

Independent Living Skills: Pre-Vocational and Travel Training Skills

Electives: Visual Art/Music and Physical Education


11-12


Reading Comprehension Expressive and Receptive Literacy aligned to:

and Composition: Language, Reading and Literature; Composition

Discrete Math: Spatial Skills; Measurement; Functional

Finances; Number Sense

Teen Health Issues: Cooking/Nutrition; Self-Care/Health; Community Participation; Household Management

Social Issues: Self-Determination; Oral Communication;

Interpersonal Skills; Critical and Creative

Thinking

Pre-Vocational: Employment Exploration; Vocational Skills;

(addressed through embedded Employment-Seeking Skills; Employment

content and internships) Maintenance Skills; Legal Issues

Electives: Visual Art/Music and Physical Education


Post Grad 1 and Post Grad 2 (ages 20-22)


Functional Academics Maintenance and generalization of literacy and math skills that are required for independent living as determined by students’ individual needs.


Vocational Maintenance and generalization of soft skills and hard skills that are required for successful employment as determined by students’ individual needs; Internship Placements; Supported Employment Positions


Electives Visual Art/Music and Physical Education


Students also work with itinerant service providers and specialists including, but not limited to, Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist (ABA), Speech and Language Therapist, Physical and Occupational Therapists, School Psychologists, Mental Health Clinicians, Behavior Specialists and outside collaterals.


Products:

  • Modified Exhibition presentations in accordance with grade requirements (9-10)
  • MCAS Alt Grade 10 Portfolios
  • Readers Theatre Productions (11-12)
  • Vocational Portfolios (PG 1-2)
  • Community-Based Experience Reflections (all grades)
  • Role-Plays, group activities, individual projects (all grades)
  • BCLA Portfolios (all grades)

Path Program

The Path Program at BCLA serves grades 9-12 high school students who require specialized support in an inclusion setting, in order to be successful in school. Students in the Path Program have been identified as emotionally fragile and at-risk for school failure. These students may be coming from more restrictive settings, including psychiatric hospitalizations, home tutoring or from other school placements and are placed as a result of an IEP meeting. 


Students who benefit from the Path Program are students who are capable and willing to learn within the mainstream community with special services and supports. These students should be able to maintain consistent behavioral controls and adhere to the rules and expectations of general education classrooms. 


School services available include:

  • in-school group and/or individual counseling 
  • academic monitoring & support, including tutoring
  • executive functioning/organization support
  • crisis intervention
  • early morning and after school check-in and academic support
  • in-school respite
  • medication referral, monitoring, administration via school nurse
  • parent/guardian support
  • collaboration with outside agencies, hospitals
  • referrals to outside agencies for additional services
  • breakfast and lunch program
  • post high school planning college, job training

Students in the Path Program are included in the general education/inclusion classes at BCLA per their IEPs. They therefore follow the same course of studies as general education students. Path students are usually assigned one period per day in a supported Path study hall and/or a period in the Learning Center per the services listed in IEPs. In order to accommodate these services, students may receive a waiver for foreign language and do not necessarily access all elective classes (Strategies for Success, Chorus, etc.) to allow for provision of support services. All classes and extracurricular activities, however, are open to Path students.

Additional Offerings and Electives


Physical Education & Wellness

The Physical Education program intends to give students a basic understanding (rules, terminology, etiquette, etc.) of how to play a variety of lifetime activities and to help students appreciate the benefits of physical activity throughout their lifetimes. Skills for each sport activity will be broken down, as students will learn them to be able to participate in game play. 


Students will also participate in lifelong physical fitness activities such as cardiovascular conditioning, stretching, plyometrics, agility, movement, and strength training. In addition, students will attend Health classes. Boston Public Schools’ Curriculum Standards & Frameworks for Physical Education, Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework, and the BCLA set of core values (Respect, Ownership, Accountability, and Rigor) are the basis of student learning.  


Products:

  • Students gain knowledge and the physical, social, and emotional skills necessary to participate in a variety of sports and physical activities
  • Increased self-discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork
  • Exposure to a variety of sports, fitness activities, games, and team building activities
  • Understand and apply the basic rules of sports, fitness activities, and games
  • To enable students to recognize and use the fitness components associated with various physical activities and movement forms
  • Ability to apply fitness concepts to set goals for personal health and wellness
  • Increased awareness and competency in a variety of physical activities, movement forms and sports
  • Enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, reflection and social interaction

ENGLISH ELECTIVES:

 

 Global Issues

  • The goal of this class is to build and develop a critical lens about race theory and through this lens examine components of our society that affect us personally (including the SAT exam). We will use current articles and films as class texts and continue to embed test-taking strategies into our class.

Leadership in Public Relations 

  • The goal of this course is to examine BCLA’s core values, through an examination of the school’s leadership principles. This class culminates in a senior portfolios and exhibitions, which engages and synthesizes their learning and practice of these principles across curriculum. Students will grow as leaders through reflection, research, civic engagement, community action, partnership, and presentation.  Specifically, students will work to track their own growth as leaders as they prepare for their post-secondary lives.

MATH ELECTIVES:

Mathematical Biology 1 

  • You can take this course without taking Mathematical Biology 2
  • Mathematical biology is an extension of the standard sophomore level Biology course and includes math topics such as statistics and linear algebra. Biology topics for Math Bio 1 focus on Infectious Diseases and Neurological Disorders.  In the Infectious Diseases Unit we model and treat diseases and investigate how they impact our lives. In the Neurological Disorders Unit, we guide our investigation of the nervous system from the building blocks of our brains to how our brains control behavior. Other topics may be investigated as time allows.

Mathematical Biology 2 

  • You can take this course without taking Mathematical Biology 1
  • Mathematical biology is an extension of the standard sophomore level Biology course and includes math topics such as statistics and linear algebra. Biology topics for Math Bio 1 focus on Infectious Diseases and Neurological Disorders.  In the Infectious Diseases Unit we model and treat diseases and investigate how they impact our lives. In the Neurological Disorders Unit, we guide our investigation of the nervous system from the building blocks of our brains to how our brains control behavior. Other topics may be investigated as time allows.

Discrete Mathematics

    • In this course, students will explore the fundamental concepts of how numbers work, building up numbers from the ground up.
    • Modular Arithmetic
      • What time is 13 o’clock? What time is 34 o’clock? What time is -7 o’clock?
      • If you add up the digits of any multiple of nine...will you always get a multiple of nine?
    • Number Bases
  • How would we count differently if we had 12 fingers?
    • When does 1 + 1 = 10?

Number Theory

  • In this course, students will explore topics in advanced math by tackling some of the most famous and important problems in mathematics, all centered around whole numbers. The two primary topics covered are:
  • Graph Theory
    • How many colors do you need to color in a map?
    • What is the fastest route through the U.S. that visits the capital of every state?
  • Combinatorics
    • How many ways can you climb six steps?
    • Alex, Bobby, Carolina, and Darren all run in a race. How many ways can Darren finish first or second?

Statistics

  • After studying ratios, probability and descriptive statistics, students learn how to collect data, organize data, and make inferences. The course focuses on the statistical thinking behind data gathering and interpretation. Students look closely at surveys, election polls, medical studies, and other cited statistics to understand what the numbers are really saying.

 Financial Literacy

  • This course is designed to alert, inform, and educate students in concepts of personal finance and money management. Students will begin to develop the skills and strategies that promote personal and financial responsibility related to financial planning, savings,  and investment.
  • Five broad topics will be the foundation of the course: college and career planning, money management, savings and investing, income, and spending.

Economics

  • The study of how individual companies make decisions, and what is involved in maximizing profit. This includes supply-demand curves and basic market structures.

SCIENCE ELECTIVES:


Issues In Science for Leaders

  • Full year, 1 credit course
  • Prerequisites: Passed 3 years of lab science (Physics, Bio, and Chem)
  • Students will deepen your understanding of Physics, Biology and Chemistry by applying what they’ve learned. Students will learn about pressing social justice and ethical issues, and how to use science to understand them and argue about them. Should the government be able to require parents to vaccinate their children? Should you agree to get a genetic test? Do you want the world to know what’s in your DNA, and how can information from genetic testing be used for good or evil? How serious is climate change? Who has caused the problems of increased extreme weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, etc) and who suffers the most? What are the technological and political solutions, and how can we take action here at BCLA?
  • (Note: this will NOT be the same class that was taught in 2018-2019, no Acellus!)

Exploring Computer Science

  • Full year, 1 credit course
  • Prerequisites: Passed 3 years of lab science (Physics, Bio, and Chem)
  • Passed Geometry or taking Geometry at the same time (projects and labs will include geometric concepts such as cartesian coordinates, and polygons).
  • This course is an introductory programming course that helps prepare students for more advanced programming courses. 1st semester we learn how to use Snap!, a visual block-based programming language, introducing students to coding for the first time. In the 2nd semester we transition to text-based programming using the Python language. Learn to read and write this! 

Psychology


This course focuses on the science of behavior and mental processes, serving as a college-level introduction to psychology. Within each of the following units, students focus on the relationship between psychological principles and the world around them: Psychology’s History and Approaches, Research Methods, Biological Bases of Behavior, Sensation and Perception, States of Consciousness, Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion, Developmental Psychology, Personality, Testing and Individual Differences, Abnormal Psychology, Treatment of Psychological Disorders, and Social Psychology. Students make connections between course concepts and their observations of the world, as well as between course concepts and their own lives. Ultimately, they show how their learning in the course has influenced their worldview and behavior.


Products:

  • Observation and Analysis of Human Behavior
  • Behavior Modification Plan
  • Experimental Design
  • Application of Psychological Principles to Daily Life