HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM GUIDE
Catholic Studies is the study of God and God’s relationship with humans and the rest of creation. The religion program at Ascension Catholic High School is designed to prepare students to full participation in wisdom, worship and words of the Church. Catholic Studies is an academic subject and is required of all ACHS students for four years.
Catholic Studies I: Introduction to Catholicism
This course focuses on the basic beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic faith. Students are challenged to learn and live what the Church teaches through the call to holiness and prayerfulness. Some themes include: the Trinity, Scripture and Tradition, sacraments, and the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. (Freshman Requirement)
Catholic Studies II: Understanding the Scriptures
This course presents a study of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament focusing on salvation history in the context of a Catholic approach to Scripture. It highlights the theme of “Covenant.” Through the study of the Hebrew Scriptures from a Christian viewpoint, students are encouraged to enter into the faith journey of God’s Chosen People and relate this journey to their lives. Through the study of the New Testament, students are encouraged to develop a deeper personal understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. (Sophomore Requirement)
Catholic Studies III: History of the Church
This course presents an account of Christian History based solidly on historical fact and viewed through the eyes of faith. It presents the History of the Catholic Church from Pentecost through the present, along with studies of the Reformation and Islamic faith. (Junior Requirement)
Catholic Studies IV: Our Moral Life in Christ
This course presents the more complex theological concepts of the Catholic Faith. (Senior Requirement)
To graduate from ACHS, students need 4 credits in English. English courses include the study of literature, grammar, vocabulary, and opportunities for writing. The core curriculum is designed so that each course builds on the previous one, especially in the areas of vocabulary, grammar, and writing.
English I will focus on proofreading, vocabulary, grammar, literature, and the mechanics of writing. Through this course, the goal is for each and every student to become a better reader and writer. Students will read and analyze literature including short stories, poems, Greek mythology and philosophy in the study of The Odyssey, and Shakespearean drama through the study of Romeo and Juliet. In addition, students read a variety of approved novels for class discussion.
In English II, students will build on the literature and writing they studied in English I. In particular, students will focus on expository writing and more in depth literature analysis. The process of writing and review of grammar, usage, and mechanics are key components of the course. The study of literature will focus on World Literature, with students reading a selection of short stories, novels, poetry, and plays ranging from the Ancient time period to the Modern. Examples of some of the works studied in class are the plays Oedipus Rex and Julius Caesar.
The primary focus in this course is on writing an essay. Outlining, introduction, thesis statement, development, and conclusion are stressed along with elements of unity, coherence, and emphasis. Style is stressed after basic structural and mechanical elements have been mastered. The secondary focus of the course is the survey of American literature. Weekly vocabulary study and usage review are geared to improve writing and ACT/SAT preparation. Composition assignments include journals, essays, and one major research paper.
This course will cover a variety of literary genres written by British authors. Students will be required to compose essays about literature (character analysis, comparison-contrast, tone, etc.) on a weekly basis. Vocabulary and grammar will be reviewed and assessed consistently throughout the year. The students will write a college-level research paper in the 3rd quarter, preparing them for their future studies.
To graduate from ACHS students need 4 credits in science. The objective of the science curriculum is to assist students in developing inquiry based learning skills and using the scientific method. In each of the science courses reading for interpretation, comprehension, conducting lab experiments and writing lab reports, scientific observations, critical thinking, and drawing conclusions are emphasized during hands one laboratory investigations.
This is a general course that acquaints the students with the integral parts of the life sciences. The class goes into a very detailed study of cell biology. This study includes biochemistry and genetics. There is a more general overview of the taxonomy, anatomy and physiology of plants and animals. Basic ecology is the last topic studied. Labs provide hands-on experience of the course material.
In this course students are taught the basic knowledge necessary to be successful in advanced science courses. Students are introduced to the scientific method as well as basic properties of matter and energy, laying the groundwork for further work in physics and chemistry.
General concepts and problem solving are emphasized. Laboratory experiments and demonstrations are used to present and supplement the material. Some of the concepts covered in the class are: matter and its properties, measurements and conversions, atomic structure, periodic law, chemical bonding, equations and reactions, stoichiometry, and gas laws
This is a science course for the college bound student. General concepts and problem solving are emphasized. Various lab activities are used to demonstrate the concepts presented in the class. Examples of the concepts and problem solving are: the science of matter and energy, taking measurements and analyzing data, mechanics, thermodynamics, sound and light, electrostatics, magnetism, electronics, atomic structure, nuclear and high energy physics. A strong background in algebra is required.
This is an elective course for those students interested in medical or other biological-related fields. Emphasis is placed on human anatomy and physiology and human biology. The course provides students with a basic understanding of the structure, function and development of the various body systems. Topics include organization, chemistry, cells, tissues, body systems and development of the human body.
This course is the study of the environment from a global perspective. Students learn how things live and work in different kinds of ecosystems. They are introduced to a decision-making model that helps them weigh the environmental, economic, cultural and social aspects of each issue so that factors other than pure science are taken into account.
To graduate from ACHS, four credits from the math department are needed. There are several options for our students to obtain the necessary credits. At each level, math studies build on the skills and concepts previously presented. Mathematical vocabulary and symbolism is emphasized. Calculators may be required.
This course includes properties of numbers, polynomials, graphing linear equations, inequalities, radicals, functions, factoring, and quadratic equations. Applied problem solving, reasoning skills, and analytical thinking are included.
Geometry covers the fundamentals of Euclidean geometry, including parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent and similar polygons, circles, deductive reasoning and logical thinking. Students construct plane figures, and determine area and volume. As an introduction to trigonometry, they also study right triangles and the basic trigonometric functions. A calculator, compass and straight edge are required tools.
Students build on the basics of Algebra I doing more in-depth work on polynomials and quadratic equations. The study of axioms, matrices, open sentences, irrational, complex and imaginary numbers, as well as systems of equations, is included in the course. This is a required junior level course.
Advanced Mathematics I – Pre-Calculus Honors
This course includes the topics mentioned in Advanced Math I but studies the topics in greater depth. Some extra topics are included, such as limits, sequences, and series, and higher-level thinking skills are used. Designed for students Grades in this course are weighted 1.25.
Pre-requisite: Algebra II Honors with a grade of “B” or better.
SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT
The objective of the social studies department is to instill in students an enthusiasm for the study of liberal arts in general and social studies in particular. To graduate from Ascension Catholic High School students need 4 credits in Social Studies, where Theology III can count as one of those credits.
World Geography is the study of the physical and cultural geographies of many nations of the Earth. The class will study the 7 continents and their climates, past and present maps, and the cultures of major countries while making comparisons to the United States. Students will develop an understanding of various current global topics through the development of essential communication skills.
World History is a course that traces the beginning of the human race, civilization and technology to the present day. Some of the topics covered in this class are: Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, Reformation, World War I, the Russian Revolution, and World War II.
This is an elective course for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. 1 credit
American History is a survey course beginning with the events leading up to the Civil War and ending with current day events that will impact the future of our nation. The objective of the course is for the student to gain a clearer understanding of the history that impacts his or her life today. Some of the topics covered in this class are: the Civil War, Imperialism, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, Cold War, Civil Rights Movement and America’s status in the world today as the pre-eminent super power.
This is a required junior level course. 1 credit
Civics is a course that explains how government works at the national, state, and local levels. A brief history of US government will be presented along with a study of the constitution (both national and state) and the rights of the government according to our system of checks and balances.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT
To graduate from Ascension Catholic High School, our students are required to take two years of the same foreign language. The primary goal of the foreign language program is to help students develop proficiency in oral communication, to acquire linguistic skills and to appreciate literature.
Oral proficiency is emphasized in the first year. Listening, speaking, reading and writing are introduced. Basic vocabulary, grammatical pattern, and verb tenses are presented through dialogues and grammatical exercises.
This course is a continuation of Spanish I placing emphasis on oral communication, writing and reading. The varied cultures of Spanish speaking peoples and their countries is explored through lectures and reading materials.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The objective of the Health and Physical Education Department is to provide our students with a positive atmosphere and experiences that will foster a lifelong interest in recreational sports participation, cardio-vascular and muscular fitness, and daily health habits that will contribute to spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.
Students are required to complete 1.5 units of PE and 0.5 unit of Health for graduation from ACHS.
Physical Education I, II
The focus on activities in Physical Education classes is on fitness and wellness. Also included are units on basketball, soccer, volleyball, flag football, badminton, ultimate disc golf, cabbage ball, kickball, bocce, ladder ball, and lacrosse. Evaluation is based on participation, effort and improvement.
PE I is required for Freshmen.
PE II is required of Sophomores.
Physical Education III, IV
Physical Education III and Physical Education IV are elective classes in the Health and P.E. department. They are classes for juniors and seniors and incorporate a multitude of physical activities into the curriculum.
Health education provides students with information that gives them the ability to make wise decisions in the areas of drug and tobacco use, alcohol consumption and food choices. Other topics studied are stress management, CPR and first aid. This course alternates with Physical Education.
FINE ARTS DEPARTMENT
The Arts is an integral part of the study of foreign language, history and literature. In order to grow as intellectuals, students should experience and appreciate art in all its forms.
Fine Arts Survey
This course is a survey of the arts approached through the four disciplines of music, visual arts, dance, and drama/theatre. The course covers the development of fine arts beginning from pre-historic man up to the 21st century.
This is an elective course for ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders.
The pre-requisite for the band class is having been in band the previous year and completing the course with a C or better. Any exception to this must be approved by the instructor. This course is offered to students with brass, woodwind, and/or percussion playing experience. In this class, students will learn to develop a good tone, intonation, articulation, and style. Students must have a basic knowledge of reading music, and own or have access to an instrument and its relevant supplies. (This course may be taken each year for a total of 4 credits.)
Publications I -- Yearbook
This course is an overview of print publications and includes: writing; exploration of photography including how to take, crop and size photos; a study of editing skills; instructions on how to write headlines; and lessons on layout and design of yearbook pages. Students also learn some management and business skills.
Publications II -- Yearbook
This course is an extension of Publications I. Editing will be a central focus of this course. Increased emphasis is placed on providing leadership to assure that deadlines are met.
Prerequisite: Complete Publications I with at least a “B” and teacher recommendation.
This course is designed to help the student develop and master techniques of excellent public speaking in the areas of writing, volume, diction, pacing, and content. The student will prepare and perform various speeches and also various types of dramatics (monologues, improvisations, etc.) during the course. Focus will be placed on the Informative Speech, Demonstrative Speech, and Debate strategies. Most of the assignments will require research.
Students will have the opportunity to enroll in Louisiana Virtual School, an online school run by the Louisiana Department of Education. Many courses are offered that ACHS does not, such as Psychology, French, Latin, Earth Science, Astronomy, etc. All courses are taught through Blackboard and taught by Louisiana Certified teachers. All assignments and work will be done on computer. There is a $175 fee per course.