School Course Catalog

English Department Course Descriptions

English I (1.0 Credit)

In grade 9, students explore many ways that words can express thoughts. They find author’s main ideas in text and learn how writers support their ideas through word choice, sentence and paragraph structure and other methods. Students also learn about different types of text including poetry, drama, and other works of art. Students also consider how different kinds of works, such as poetry and film, deal with the same subjects. They investigate how form supports and enhances content, and they create written text and oral presentations that effectively use grammar and pronunciation to express their ideas.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

English II (1.0 Credit)

 Students explore the ways in which authors use a variety of techniques to express their purposes and reach their intended audiences. These techniques include, but are not limited to, style, structure, diction, and voice. Students present written and spoken information in logical ways, using evidence to defend their assertions. Students connect texts from a variety of eras and places to their various contexts, drawing from their knowledge of literature and history to come to a greater understanding. They consider deeply the content, structure, function and effects of texts given those texts’ contexts. They connect literary works to issues of their times as well as other historical eras and situations.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

English III (1.0 Credit)

 Students are exposed to the various periods of American literature and the ideas that shaped the writing of those times. They use examples from American literature to improve their writing styles. They also work with different viewpoints and make their points in different ways—for example, by using brief stories to illustrate arguments and by using logic to support them. They use varied sentence structures and focus on small details.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

English IV (1.0 Credit)

 The last required class of English instruction asks its students to begin using skills and concepts acquired previously in new ways. We will seek to coordinate skills in an effort to push our understandings into complex and abstract levels. We will spend this year engaged in a study of language and literature. We will study language to increase our ability to communicate our thoughts and ideas and to understand the thoughts and ideas of others. We will study literature to increase our understanding of this peculiar art form. We will explore the historical tradition of literature to gain an understanding of the ways stories are told and the forces that shape the stories we tell.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

 

 

Mathematics Department Course Descriptions

Pre Algebra (1.0 Credit)*

Pre-Algebra includes introductory topics in both algebra and geometry. Algebra topics covered include algebraic expressions, integers, solving equations and inequalities, linear functions and graphing, and polynomials. Geometry topics include angle relationships, polygons, area, and applying algebra to the right triangle.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Algebra I (1.0 Credit)

The foundation for the study of algebra will be laid by learning about the language of algebra, its properties, and methods of solving equations. Students will learn how many real-world situations can be modeled by linear and nonlinear functions, tables, and their graphs. They will use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships and analyze change in various contexts.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Algebra II/Trigonometry (1.0 Credit)

 Algebra I will focus on introducing students to the essential mathematical process of solving for an unknown. Students will learn about the connection between algebra and geometry; how algebraic problems can be framed and interpreted geometrically. Finally, the students will understand how to apply these skills to solve a wide variety of real world problems, and to use these results and solutions to inform their decision-making.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Geometry (1.0 Credit)

 This course builds upon the mastery of skills and concepts gained over previous courses. Thus the emphasis for the first half of the year is on integrating Algebra with Geometry and less emphasis on formal proofs. The focus of the second half of the year is a preparation for Precalculus with a full unit in Right Triangle Trigonometry and review/ preparation for the DCAS exam. The focus in this course is on the applications of the mathematical topics.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Pre-Calculus (1.0 Credit)

 Pre-calculus is the beginning of the study of change and motion and will prepare students to study calculus. Students will explore trigonometry, complex numbers, how functions are

logically organized into groups, how to transform functions and learn about instantaneous rates of change. Students will see how these areas of mathematics can help us solve various real world problems.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

Calculus (1.0 Credit)

Calculus includes the study of limits of continuity, derivatives and integrals. Students will apply derivatives and integrals to various situations and will use them in order to solve interesting real world problems. Students will study their ideas using graphs, algebra, tables and verbal descriptions.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Honors Algebra I (1.0 Credit)

 This accelerated course in the study of algebra will be laid by learning about the language of algebra, its properties, and methods of solving equations. Students will learn how many real- world situations can be modeled by linear and nonlinear functions, tables, and their graphs. They will use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships and analyze change in various contexts.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Honors Geometry (1.0 Credit)

 This accelerated course in geometry covers the standard content of Euclidean geometry including congruence, similarity, polygons, circles, constructions, and coordinate geometry. This standard content is explored with greater intensity and emphasis on proof and analytical thinking.

Additional topics may include transformations and further investigations of three-dimensional figures such as polyhedral.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

Science Department Course Descriptions

Earth Science (1.0 Credit)

Earth Science is a required course for all ninth grade students. A study of the earth is used to form a broad basis for developing an understanding of the true nature of science and the means by which scientific knowledge is acquired. This affords an opportunity for studying astronomy, oceanography ,meteorology, physical geology, and historical geology ,areas of science with which every informed citizen should be acquainted.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Biology (1.0 Credit)

 Biology I is a required course for all ninth grade students. Science as investigation and inquiry is the major theme of this course. Microorganisms, plants, and animals: humans specifically, are investigated at all levels of living organization, from the molecule through the cell, the tissue, the organ, the individual, the population, the community, to the biosphere. A laboratory-centered program of instruction is used, in which students design experiments that demonstrate the scientific method and specific scientific principles. Text materials and audio-visual aids are integrated in order to provide an insight into the major fields of modern biology. Reading assignments extend beyond the text to encompass as much material and current research as possible.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Chemistry (1.0 Credit)

 Chemistry is the study of matter and how it changes and interacts. It is an upper-level lab science course that requires high quality thinking. Students will investigate the properties and reactions of materials and they will predict changes that happen when materials combine and factors change. A successful chemistry student must work conscientiously and consistently. As a student entering chemistry, students should be prepared to be challenged, work exceptionally hard and give nothing less than their best.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Honors Chemistry (1.0 Credit)

 In Honors Chemistry students are expected to work independently on a variety of assignments and accept greater responsibility for their learning. The course will include the additional Honors objectives and an in-depth study of a host of enrichment topics. . Students will investigate the properties and reactions of materials and they will predict changes that happen when materials combine and factors change. A successful chemistry student must work conscientiously and consistently.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Physics (1.0 Credit)

 In Physics, students explore forces of nature such as gravity, electricity, and magnetism. For example, students learn how to use Newton’s laws of motion and energy to analyze forces. They learn how scientists use these laws to predict the motion of objects in a system. Students also study thermodynamics, which deals with exchanges of energy between systems. Mathematics helps students to express principles and theories about the natural world. In mastering the high school Physics standards, students understand and interpret the evidence that supports the laws of physics. They see how those laws help them understand nature, from the orbits of galaxies all the way down to the smallest atoms.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

Social Studies Department Course Descriptions

US History (1.0 Credit)

United States History is the first of a two-part United States History survey course that is required in high school. The course begins with the Discovery of the New World and the Colonization of America and journeys through the story of the creation of the United States through the Civil War and Reconstruction. Students will learn issues such as the impact of discovery, the story of the Native Americans, the struggle with slavery, the foundation of our government and the expansion of America. The second part of United States History course picks up from Post Reconstruction Era. The course begins with journeys through the story of the 21st century America through the present day. The students will learn about major events that include the Industrial Revolution, the Roaring 20’s, the Great Depression, World War I and II, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and the Cold War. This course is required for graduation.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

American Government (1.0 Credit)

Students will explore the foundation of the American political system. Students will examine the legislative branches and the idea of democracy in the United States. Students will also engage in classroom debates and historical frameworks related to the governmental structure. Students will examine how bills are made into law or vetoed by the head of the executive branch.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

World History (1.0 Credit)

 In this course, students will explore societies developed in the Middle Ages—including the growth of Islam from the Middle East and the rise of civilizations in China, medieval Japan, sub- Saharan and West Africa, Europe, and Mesoamerica. They will learn how these cultures branched out and influenced each other during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, including the growth of exploration and trade, the expansion of thought and religion in the Renaissance and the Reformation, and the rise of colonialism. They will explore how each culture developed its own science and ideas in the 17th and 18th centuries. Students also will trace the growth of slave trading from Africa to Europe and North and South America

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

DC History (.5 Credit)

 This course covers development of the city from the early Native American settlements to the present day. Students learn about the structure and operation of the city government established by the District of Columbia Home Rule Act of 1973.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Economics (.5 Credit)

 This 12th grade course examines the principles of the American economic system. It includes a study of comparative economic systems, economic policy-making and decision-making, and of economic issues on a personal, national and international level. This course includes principles of micro and macroeconomics.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

AP World History (1.0 Credit)

 AP World History course is to teach the history of the world from a truly global stance. The Themes and key concepts are intended to provide foundational knowledge for future college- level course work in history. Command of these course themes and key concepts requires sufficient knowledge of detailed and specific relevant historical developments and processes – including names, chronology, facts and events – to exemplify the themes and key concepts. The three to four key concepts per period define what is most essential to know about each period based upon the most current historical research in world history. This approach enables students to spend less time on factual recall, more time on learning essential concepts, and helps them develop historical thinking skills necessary to explore the broad trends and global processes involved in their study of AP World History. (College Board 2012).

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

African American History (.5 Credit)

 The class is an introduction to African American History and the important roles that African Americans played in the formation of this country. This particular course covers the relocation and integration of the African Americans into mainstream American society. Students will learn about important leaders and issues that affect African Americans in America from the past to now.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

World Languages Department Course Descriptions

 

Latin I (1.0 Credit)

 Beginning level of the Latin courses. This course is an introduction to the world of the ancient Roman people and to the Latin language. Students will learn both to see Latin as an important part of that world, and to view that world through Latin. Primary emphasis will thus be on the elements of the language: alphabet and pronunciation, parts of speech, word-formation, vocabulary (including English derivatives), and grammatical rules. Students will also begin to learn the geography of the ancient Roman world, an outline of Roman history, and important aspects of Roman private and public life.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Latin II (1.0 Credit)

As students continue to expand their Latin vocabulary, they will study the subjunctive verb, irregular verbs, gerunds and gerundives, and the many uses of the ablative and dative cases. The study of Latin will also improve English vocabulary. Through translation, students will travel with two fictional young Roman boys to Greece. This course also allows students to explore Roman history.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Latin III (1.0 Credit)

The intermediate level of Latin. Primary emphasis will thus be on the elements of the language: alphabet and pronunciation, parts of speech, word-formation, vocabulary (including English derivatives).

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Spanish I (1.0 Credit)

 In this beginning level of Spanish, the students are introduced to the language. The students engage in learning vocabulary about the self, the family and school, and begin to learn vocabulary that relates to those central themes, as well as the beginning grammar necessary to understand and formulate the basic composition of the Spanish grammatical structures, in short utterances.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Spanish II (1.0 Credit)

 In the intermediate level of Spanish II, the students are pushed to a new level of language proficiency. Students are now asked to step away from knowing just the vocabulary about the self and their immediate surroundings, to include language at the larger-scale, beyond their comfort zone. They are introduced topics about the culture of the language they are learning, they get to expand their vocabulary and practice more grammatical structures for building sentences and sentence combining to express ideas.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Spanish III (1.0 Credit)

 For the more advanced student, in Spanish III, the students are taken to a more sophisticated level of communication in the target language. After two years of beginning and intermediate levels of Spanish, students are ready to begin exploring ideas in more depth. Students in this course, do more short readings in the target language, and are asked to be more critical and analytical, as they learn language about cause and effect, and deeper reasoning, like taking sides of an argument and presenting ideas more clearly, orally, and written.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Spanish IV (1.0 Credit)

 Spanish Language course is for the most advanced student. This course will help prepare students to demonstrate their level of Spanish proficiency across three communicative modes which are reading, writing and speaking. This course is taught strictly in Spanish and has high expectations of the students.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

 

Media Arts Department Course Descriptions

 

Media Arts I (.50Credit)

Explore a variety of technical concepts related to media arts (i.e. web design, editing films and voice overs and various other media outlets). Students will also experience hands on opportunities in all facets of media and technology.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Media Arts II (.50Credit)

A follow up course to Media Art a variety of technical concepts related to media arts (i.e. web design, editing films and voice overs and various other media outlets). Students will also experience hands on opportunities in all facets of media and technology.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Newspaper (.50 Credit)

Students expand their English/Language Arts skills through creating and publishing the school newspaper and posting stories on the school newspaper web site. Students practice varied forms of journalistic writing including news, features and sports stories, as well as reviews and editorials.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Visual Arts I (.50 Credit)

 This is an introductory skills-based, visual art course that introduces students to a variety of media. Students will also learn about art history and develop aesthetic valuing skills through writing. Students are introduced to the principles of design. This class prepares students for the next level of visual art classes.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Visual Arts II (.50 Credit)

 Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a wide variety of media, to communicate meaning and intent to works of art based on principles of design. Students further develop skills to create more individualized works of art moving from proficient to advanced levels.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Radio Production (.50Credit)

 Students will acquire the skills to create quality radio shows and productions. Emphasis is on the uses of communication and organizational skills. Students learn the basic skills to produce their own radio productions while exploring aspects of pre-production, script writing, and sound.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Photography (.50 Credit)

 This digital photography class will explore the many facets of digital imagery. Students are expected to produce and preserve images that paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of technical editing strategies and techniques through

the use of Adobe Photoshop. This digital photography program will deepen the understanding of composition and image design; focusing on color, theory, and practical applications.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Journalism I (1.0 Credit)

 Journalism I will help the student build writing skills by incorporating various journalism styles and formats. This course covers grammar, spelling, punctuation, and Associated Press style.

Students will learn to prepare for advanced level journalism classes.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Journalism II (1.0 Credit)

Through the exploration and analysis of all types of journalistic writing, students will become aware of the purposes and responsibilities of the professional journalist. They will learn about the vast scope and influence of the mass media and develop basic news writing skills. This course does require that the student write on a variety of topics and journalistic styles.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Journalism III (1.0 Credit)

Clear writing, an ability to prioritize and synthesize information, performance under deadline pressure, and producing news stories for broadcast and the Web are hallmarks of the modern-day broadcast journalist. Students in this course will learn the fundamental skills and techniques involved in writing and producing radio and television news stories. Students will learn broadcast writing style, production techniques as well as TV voice-overs. Audio recording and editing and video editing will be taught. Students will learn editing on professional editing software.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Yearbook (.50 Credit)

 Students in this class are responsible for the production of a high quality yearbook. Students enrolled will perform tasks of reporting, copywriting, word processing, graphic design, photography and desktop publishing. Selection into this course will be based on submittal of an application form. You will learn skills basic to the assembly of a publication: data gathering, layout, design, accurate writing, teamwork and above all the meaning of the words commitment and deadlines.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

Broadcast Journalism (.50 Credit)

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

 Music Production (.50 Credit)

 Students will acquire the skills to create quality music productions. Emphasis is on the uses of communication and organizational skills. Students learn the basic skills to produce their own music while exploring aspects of pre-production, and sound.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Film (.50Credit)

This advanced course provides students with opportunities to work on individual and small group film projects. Workshop methods will be employed to provide students with understandings of advanced principles and practices of creating films. Students in this course will be expected to develop project treatments, write and rewrite shooting scripts, develop storyboards, record and edit projects.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Graphic Design (.50 Credit)

Graphic Design program is to develop the creative talents and skills of students using computer driven software programs. Graphic Designers shape our visual environment through the experimentation and use of image, form, and typography. Americans live in a society that is communicating more and more through visual images. They are bombarded on a daily basis by a constantly changing torrent of messages from billboards, magazines, architecture, newspapers, television, and films.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

 

Physical Education and Health Department Course Descriptions

Health (.5 Credit)

 The course is designed to promote the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the individual. Areas of study include structure and function of body systems, physical fitness, communicable and non-communicable diseases, nutrition, environmental health, mental health, stress, first aid, sex education, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Students are also given opportunities to explore their own feelings and values with an emphasis on making responsible health choices now and in the future. Also the program provides a wide variety of exercises, activities and games designed to develop physical skills, stamina, and general physical wellbeing, with a special emphasis on those activities that can be incorporated into a lifetime fitness regimen.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Physical Education (1.0 Credit)

 The program provides a wide variety of exercises, activities and games designed to develop physical skills, stamina, and general physical wellbeing, with a special emphasis on those activities that can be incorporated into a lifetime fitness regimen.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

 

Visual/Performing Arts Descriptions

 

General Art I (.5 Credit)

 Students will experience art from the perspective of American culture and worldwide ethnic, racial, and cultural groups. Another important goal of the standards is to capitalize on Washington’s wealth of world class museum collections, federal, and local architecture.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

General Music I (.5 Credit)

 In music students explore the relationship between music and social movements in our emergent global society. This course introduces the student to the history, theory, and different genres of music.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

General Dance I (1.0)

General Dance provides a dance overview for students. Students become acquainted with basic techniques in ballet, modern, and jazz. Gaining movement skills and finding confidence and enjoyment through movement is the focus of this class. This course may be used for Physical Education credit.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

Electives

  

Fundamentals of Reading (1.0 Credit)

 Students will be introduced to strategies for reading and writing. These practices and strategies will challenge the student and build the needed skills. Students will emerge more confident, enthusiastic, and fluent in reading. They will be able to use a core set of strategies to approach a range of reading and writing tasks.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

Debate (1.0 Credit)

 This course is for the student who understands research skills and is an avid reader of political and current-event issues. Students develop critical thinking and analytical skills along with logic and impromptu speaking techniques to defend opposing sides of social issues.

Offered In-Seat and Online all year.

 

 

College Prep/Technical Education/ Culminating Project

 

Senior Journalism Project (1.0 Credit)

 This course is designed to bring together all of the knowledge and skills students have developed in their media arts and journalism courses leading up to this course. The student will explore a topic of interest that culminates the components of research, literary articles, and media presentations. Integrated throughout the course are career technical education standards which include basic academic skills, communication, career planning, technology, problem solving, safety, responsibility, ethics, teamwork, and technical knowledge.

 

Online Course Offerings

Richard Wright PCS (RWPCS) Online Course Offerings Program is designed for students who have not successfully earned credit in the traditional classroom setting. The grade a student receives for passing an online course offering is aligned with the regular grading scale metric. The RWPCS Online Course Offerings Program Delivers core classes and a few electives through a web-based instructional program. RWPCS’S Online Course Offerings afford students the opportunity to proceed at their own pace and offers high school students the opportunity to graduate on-time according to their four-year plan.

 

Students who require RWPCS Online Course Offerings Program must be enrolled by the school’s counselor. The Online Course Offerings will be monitored by a RWPCS teacher and should be completed during the school day or extended school day. Online RWPCS Course Offerings Assessments will be taken on-campus and monitored by a teacher.

 

Grading Scales for Richard Wright Public Charter School

All grades below a 64% are considered F and are failing grades, for which no credit will be awarded.

Regular Grading Scale (4.0 Scale)

 

Letter Grade Percentage GP Value
A+ 97-100 4
A 96.99-93.00 3.8
A- 90-92.99 3.7
B+ 87.00-89.99 3.3
B 83.00-86.99 3.0
B- 80.00-82.99 2.7
C+ 77.00-79.99 2.3
C 73.00-76.99 2.0
C- 70.00-72.99 1.7
D+ 67.00-69.99 1.3
D 65.00-66.99 1.0
F 0-64.99 0.0

 

 

Honors Grading Scale

 

 

 

Letter Grade Percentage GP Value
A+ 97-100 5.0
A 96.99-93.00 4.6
A- 90-92.99 4.3
B+ 87.00-89.99 4.0
B 83.00-86.99 3.8
B- 80.00-82.99 3.6
C+ 77.00-79.99 3.3
C 73.00-76.99 3.0
C- 70.00-72.99 2.6
D+ 67.00-69.99 2.3
D 65.00-66.99 2.0
F 0-64.99 0.0

 

AP Grading Scale

 

Letter Grade Percentage GP Value
A+ 97-100 5.5
A 96.99-93.00 5.3
A- 90-92.99 5.0
B+ 87.00-89.99 4.7
B 83.00-86.99 4.3
B- 80.00-82.99 4.0
C+ 77.00-79.99 3.7
C 73.00-76.99 3.3
C- 70.00-72.99 3.0
D+ 67.00-69.99 2.7
D 65.00-66.99 2.3
F 0-64.99 0.0

 

RWPCS Graduation Requirements (26.5 Credits Needed for Graduation)

 

English (4 credits)

English I (1 credit)

English II (1 credit)

English III (1 credit)

English IV (1 credit)

 

Math (4 credits)

Algebra I (1 credit)

Algebra II (1 credit)

Geometry (1 credit)

Algebra III (1 credit)

Calculus (1 credit)

 

Earth Science (1 credit)Science (4 credits)

Biology (1 credit)

Chemistry (1 credit)

Physics (1 credit)

 

History/ Social Studies (4 credits)

US History (1 credit)

American Government (1 credit)

World History (1 credit)

DC History (0.5 credit)

African American History (0.5 credit)

 

Foreign Language (2 credits)

Spanish I (1 credit)

Spanish II (1 credit)

Spanish III (1 credit)

Spanish IV (1 credit)

Latin I (1 credit)

Latin II (1 credit)

Latin III (1 credit)

Latin IV (1 credit)

 

Media Arts Electives (3 credits)

Visual Arts I (0.5 credit)

Visual Arts II (0.5 credit)

Media Arts I (0.5 credit)

Media Arts II (0.5 credit)

Photography (0.5 credit)

Newspaper (0.5 credit)

Photography (0.5 credit)

Radio Production File (0.5 credit)

Foundations of Hip Hop (0.5 credit)

 

 School Specific Courses (3 credits)

Journalism I (1 credit)

Journalism II (1 credit)

Journalism III (1 credit)

 

 Senior Journalism Project (1 Credit)

 

 Health/ PE (1.5 Credits)

 

Music (.5 credits)

 

100 Community Service Hours