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Bishop O'Connell High School
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Available Courses (2014-2015)

Bishop O'Connell High School offers a curriculum that is designed to prepare students for admission to leading colleges and universities.

Browse our Program of Studies by selecting from the subject areas below (coming soon), or view and download a PDF of the printed course guide by clicking on the image to the right.

Please note the following corrections to the printed version of the 2014 Program of Studies:

  • Public Speaking (English 1390) is 0.5 credit, not 1.0 credit
  • Debate 1 (English 1550) is 0.5 credit, not 1.0 credit
  • Chemistry (Science 4300) is open to grades 10-12

Theology

The members of the Bishop O’Connell theology department aspire to provide students with a deep knowledge of and appreciation for the tenets of the Catholic faith. They also work to help the students develop a genuine and personal relationship with Jesus Christ and comprehend religion as “faith seeking understanding.” Therefore, each course encourages and develops a close relationship with God through prayer. With the dual focus of education and formation, the theology program fosters involvement in service to others and concern for the less fortunate. All four years directly correspond to the National Framework for High School Religion.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL HOUSEHOLDS SHOULD HAVE A CATHOLIC BIBLE AND CATHOLIC CATECHISM FOR HOME STUDY.

9150   THEOLOGY 1: WHO IS JESUS?   
9     YR    1.0 cr

Students explore the revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture. Students also examine the Bible, how it was formed and its value to people throughout the world. Special emphasis is given to how the Old Testament lays the foundation for the coming of Jesus. The second semester emphasizes the Mystery of Jesus, the Living Word of God. In distinguishing who Jesus is, students also consider who Jesus calls them to be.

9220   THEOLOGY 2: THE MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST
10     YR    1.0 cr

The purpose of this course is to help students conclude what God does for us through the words and actions of His Son, Jesus Christ, as they are analyzed in the gospels. Students are introduced to what it means to choose to be a disciple of Christ. The second semester focuses on the Church and how it has continued the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ from Pentecost to the present. Key topics include images of the Church; the four marks of the Church; the Church in the world, and the Communion of Saints. Catholic liturgy and devotions are studied in the context of discipleship and mission.

9320   THEOLOGY 3: SACRAMENTS/MORALITY/ETHICS
11     YR    1.0 cr

The Sacraments part of this course strives to help students recognize the relationship between the Paschal Mystery expressed through the seven Church Sacraments and their own experiences. The Morality portion of the course centers on the Holy Spirit’s activity of guiding men and women in daily decision-making. The God-given dignity of the human person, the nature and effects of sin, the call to holiness, the Virtues, the Commandments, and the formation of a sound conscience are examined. The Ethics component focuses on major issues and topics of the 21st century.

9470   THEOLOGY 4: CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD                                              
12     YR    1.0 cr

The purpose of this course is to identify how students can discover and articulate truth centered on the person of Jesus Christ and the central doctrines of the Creed. Love, responsibility, truth, theology of the body, and family life are key elements to this course. This course includes an in-depth focus on philosophical and theological readings and emphasis on developing critical thinking skills.

This course uses the Vatican II document Church in the Modern World as its inspiration. It explores Catholic Social Teaching and the special role of the laity in the Church’s mission to rightly relate the world to Christ. A central objective is to equip students with a mature understanding of the Catholic faith and the ability to share that vision with others. General Topics include the nature of human society, the meaning of human dignity, the doctrines of the common good, subsidiarity, solidarity, and the value of human labor.

9460   THEOLOGY 4: FORMING CATHOLIC LEADERS
12     YR    1.0 cr

The purpose of this course is to identify how students can discover and articulate truth centered on the person of Jesus Christ and the central doctrines of the Creed. Love, responsibility, truth, theology of the body, family life, and social justice are key elements to this course. This course includes an in-depth focus on philosophical and theological readings and emphasis on developing critical thinking skills.

Students investigate social injustice by being in direct contact with marginalized populations and social change organizations and by discussing classical and contemporary works of philosophy and theology. The goal is to foster critical consciousness, enabling students to question conventional wisdom and learn how to work for a just society. This is accomplished by helping students make relevant connections between course material and experience with community service. The relationship between service and classroom study evokes a rich conversation.

English

The English department fosters excellence in critical thinking, analytical writing, public speaking, and engaged reading. The English department affirms the whole person through a comprehensive study of the classics of literature with added emphasis on contemporary relevance and Catholic teachings.

The English Department curriculum integrates the study of literature with a sequential writing program, instruction in grammar and usage, vocabulary study and oral presentation. The four year program includes required courses in genres of literature, world literature, American literature, and British literature. Several elective courses are also offered.

Skills learned in English classes are foundational for study in all disciplines and apply to all aspects of life. In this course of study students are provided opportunities and incentives to appreciate the power of language in expressing thoughts, feelings, and beliefs; to nurture a love of reading and improve communication skills in writing and speaking; to capably use 21st century research skills and technology; and to develop critical reading and thinking skills with a focus on logical, precise, moral and ethical reasoning.


1100   ENGLISH 1                                             9     YR    1.0 cr
The freshman course includes instruction in both language skills and literature. The literature program introduces students to the various literary genres, providing study in the epic, short story, novel, poetry, and drama. The course emphasizes critical reading and critical thinking skills. Vocabulary study is stressed and is taken from the reading, as well as from supplementary sources.

The language arts and communication program encompasses both written and oral development of language skills. Correct usage, grammar, sentence structure, intensive paragraph study, dictionary, and library skills are presented in a developmental sequence to assure achievement. Students begin learning the documentation process in the Modern Language Association (MLA) style and are introduced to the multiple-paragraph essay.

1150   ENGLISH 1 HONORS                        9     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisites:
Invitation from English department based on results of the High School Placement Test and previous English grades, or appropriate score on department qualifying exam.

This course is designed for freshmen who demonstrate an above grade-level proficiency in reading and writing. The literature program introduces students to the various literary genres, providing study in the epic, short story, novel, poetry, and drama. The program examines the contributions of influential writers from ancient to modern times. The more advanced points of grammar and usage are covered, as it is expected that students have a basic understanding of the rules that govern the language. Writing and reading assignments are of greater frequency and sophistication and require the student to provide in-depth analysis in both written and discussion formats.

1200   ENGLISH 2                                          10     YR    1.0 cr
The sophomore course includes instruction in both language and literature. The literature program introduces students to works in world literature primarily, but not exclusively, those of western culture. The program examines the contributions of influential writers from ancient to modern times. Critical reading and thinking skills, as well as vocabulary study, continue to be emphasized.

The course includes both written and oral language development. The language program builds on the freshman course and includes overall review of usage and grammar. The development of a thesis in the five-paragraph format is a central aspect of this course. Experiences in creative writing are offered. Library and research skills concentrate on preparing students to write documented papers. Instruction in note taking and paraphrasing from source material, together with renewed instruction in the Modern Language Association (MLA) method of documentation, continues.

1250   ENGLISH 2 HONORS                      10     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisites:
B in English 1 Honors and recommendation of English 1 Honors teacher; A in English 1 with evidence of strong writing skills, recommendation of English 1 teacher, and approval of department chairperson.

The literature program introduces students to works in world literature primarily, but not exclusively, those of western culture. The program examines the contributions of influential writers from ancient to modern times. Student writing is frequent and requires increasing sophistication in word choice, sentence structure, paragraph development, and overall impact. A research paper on a literary topic is a requirement of this course. Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions and to read and analyze a number of texts that supplement the classroom curriculum.

1300   ENGLISH 3                                          11     YR    1.0 cr
The junior course includes both composition and literature. The literature program surveys the major influences and writers in American literature from colonial times to the present. The program continues to emphasize the critical aspects of reading and thinking demonstrated through critical writing. Vocabulary study continues in preparation for the PSAT and SAT.

The composition program continues to develop skills learned in the freshman and sophomore courses and focuses on the various rhetorical forms of argument: persuasion, expanded definition, comparison/contrast, and literary analysis. Creative writing opportunities are provided. Documentation skills are developed further through the assignment of an extended research paper that develops a thesis.

5000   AMERICAN STUDIES                     11     YR    2.0 cr
American Studies is an interdisciplinary course that integrates U.S. History and English 3 into a humanities based curriculum. The course is designed to unite American history and literature in order to further expand students’ understanding of the origin and development of American traditions, values, and institutions. Works of literature are taught within their historical context and similarly, works of history are used to support and strengthen students’ understanding of literary trends. The course also draws extensively from its related disciplines. Theme related art, music, selected readings, and writing are incorporated into daily lessons in order to enhance the study of social history and illustrate for students how individuals, communities, and social organizations and movements, have shaped, and continue to shape, the American landscape. This course meets the requirements for 1.0 credit each in U.S. History and English 3.

1350   ENGLISH 3 HONORS                      11     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisites:
B in English 2 Honors and recommendation of English 2 Honors teacher; A in English 2 with evidence of strong writing skills, recommendation of English 2 teacher, and approval of department chairperson.

The junior course includes both composition and literature. The literature program surveys the major influences and writers in American literature from colonial times to the present. Students in this course will have shown a readiness to use higher level thinking skills when engaging literary texts, as evidenced by written and oral work that demonstrate an ability to read carefully, judge soundly, and synthesize logically. Students write frequently, exhibiting the reading and analytical skills necessary to conduct sound literary analysis, especially in the genre of poetry. Students must possess strong organizational skills, the ability to work independently, and the desire to read and analyze several texts in addition to the classroom curriculum. A research paper is also a requirement of this course.

1360   AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
                                                                11     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisites:
B+ in English 2 Honors, writing sample, and recommendation of English 2 Honors teacher.

This college level course is offered to junior students who have demonstrated a high degree of interest and proficiency in writing. The course is organized to assist students to perform well on the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination in English Language and Composition administered by the College Board in May and required of all students taking this course.

This course provides for the study and writing of various kinds of analytic or personal essays on nonliterary topics and includes instruction in rhetorical aims, modes, and techniques, and how to apply those principles in writing assignments. Although non-fiction is the focus of the AP exam in English Language and Composition, the American literature curriculum, including poetry and fiction, is thoroughly covered in this course. Non-fiction selections are taken from a wide variety of sources. Students who take this course should plan to take AP English Literature in their senior year.

The course complements the current curriculum offered by the English department in its content and skills building. Students are asked to write literary analysis papers; in addition, students write in-class essays to practice classic argumentation and to expand upon the ideas highlighted by the texts on the syllabus.

1400   ENGLISH 4                                          12     YR    1.0 cr
The senior course includes both literature and composition components. The literature program surveys the major works, writers, and influences in the British tradition. Critical skills in reading, thinking, and writing continue to be emphasized and applied.

The composition program builds on the skills learned in the first three years and challenges students to refine writing skills in preparation for researching, developing, and documenting a thesis topic in an extended, critical paper. Creative writing opportunities are provided to give the student a forum for creative expression.

1420   ENGLISH 4 HONORS                      12     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisites:
B in English 3 Honors and recommendation of English 3 Honors teacher; A in English 3, with evidence of strong writing skills, recommendation of English 3 teacher, and approval of department chairperson.

The senior course includes both literature and composition components. The literature program surveys the major works, writers, and influences in the British tradition. The senior honors course is designed for students who have demonstrated an ability to engage in clear and insightful literary analysis, to produce clear and cohesive essays, and to engage in advanced classroom discussions. Students are expected to read and analyze several texts in addition to the classroom curriculum. A research paper is also a requirement of this course.

1450   AP ENGLISH LITERATURE          12     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisites: B in AP English Language and recommendation of AP Language teacher; B+ in English 3 Honors and recommendation of English 3 Honors teacher.

This college level course is offered to highly motivated students of English in senior year. This course is organized to assist students to perform well on the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature administered by the College Board in May and required of all students taking this course.

This course includes both literature and composition. The literature is primarily British-based but includes readings from both European and American authors. Critical analysis, sound judgment, and logical synthesis in interpreting the readings are demonstrated in the frequent writing of critical essays. A seminar approach to oral discussions provides a forum for students to interact and to share insights in order to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the readings. Students are expected to read and analyze ten to 12 full length works in addition to the classroom curriculum. A research paper is also a requirement of this course.

1380   CRITICAL INQUIRY OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION
                                                         10-12     YR    1.0 cr

1385   CRITICAL INQUIRY OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION
                                                          10-12   SEM    .5 cr

This elective aims to develop a life-long love of the written word. Young adult fiction will be recast as the lead instead of classical literature’s ugly stepsister. The class has a rigorous focus on fiction aimed at a teenage audience. Through careful study of primarily novels, students will have the opportunity to explore traditional literary devices used in this genre that includes many popular texts that are bestsellers. Additionally, the course highlights elements found within class reading that pay homage to classical literature as well as the relationship of the text to its context and to Catholic teachings. This course requires students to ask questions in an effort to hone critical thinking, engaged reading and analytical writing skills. Literary analysis and closely engaging with the text is the primary task of each class; writing and substantive discussion is the means through which that literary inquiry is accomplished. Course 1385 is available only during first semester.

1390   PUBLIC SPEAKING                  10-12     YR    1.0 cr
This elective course includes the basics of effective speaking and listening skills, preparation and tools for giving a speech, and the opportunity to present several types of speeches followed by evaluation by teacher and peers. This course aims to improve knowledge of effective communication skills as well as self-confidence. This class fulfills the Fine Arts requirement for graduation.

1550   DEBATE 1                                     11-12     YR    1.0 cr
This elective course explores a wide variety and range of debate disciplines, including Congressional Debate, Public Forum Debate, and the basics of philosophy for Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the novice level. Additionally, students are introduced to basic researching, argumentation, questioning, and rebuttal skills. Focus includes the development of techniques in diction, articulation, enunciation and projection. Students begin to analyze pieces of literature, write arguments, and evaluate performances. Students have the opportunity to attend regional and state level debate (forensic) competitions.

1460   YEARBOOK PRODUCTION  10-12     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisite:
Recommendation of current English teacher.

This elective course introduces students to the successful production of a school yearbook. Students learn about the various sections of the yearbook and how to write effective yearbook articles, captions, and headlines. They also learn how to organize and conduct student and faculty interviews, design layouts on the computer using Adobe
InDesign, and to assemble the pages of the yearbook to meet structure production deadlines. Effective editing, revision, and photography skills are developed. This course fulfills the computer and Fine Arts requirements for graduation.

1510   JOURNALISM 1                         10-12     YR    1.0 cr
Prerequisite:
B in current English class and a writing sample.

This elective course introduces students to the fundamental components of journalism. News and feature writing styles are learned once students have acquired adequate reporting, interviewing, and editing skills. As students “cover” the school community, worthy student writing is published in The Visor, the school newspaper. The curriculum explores the history of journalism in the United States, photojournalism, newspaper ethics, and television broadcasting. This course fulfills the computer and Fine Arts requirements for graduation.

1530   CREATIVE WRITING                11-12     YR    1.0 cr

1535   CREATIVE WRITING                11-12   SEM    .5 cr

Prerequisite: Writing sample.

These elective courses offer a supportive and instructional environment for students wishing to develop their creative writing abilities. Participants work in the genres of poetry, short fiction, drama, and screenplay writing. Writing is supported by readings, classical and modern, in each of these genres. The practical aim of these courses is to generate a creative writing portfolio that students may use to further their ambitions beyond the high school level. Students are provided with opportunities to submit their writing for publication and consideration in relevant contests. Course 1535 is available only during first semester.

6700   INTRO TO FILM                         11-12        SEM .5 cr
This elective course presents an in-depth treatment of film as a powerful 20th and 21st century art form. Students become familiar with film language and technique, study the history of American film, and critique numerous films using the knowledge they acquire through viewing clips from the greatest movies made, as well as from full-length presentations. The course requires discussion and critical writing. Topics to be discussed include: photography, sets/settings, movement, editing, sound, acting, drama, story, writing, ideology and theory. This course fulfills the Fine Arts requirement for graduation.

 

Mathematics

Coming soon.

Health and Physical Education

Coming soon.

World Languages

Coming soon.

Science

Coming soon.

Fine Arts

Coming soon.

Technology and Business

Coming soon.

Social Studies

Visit our department page to see what's happening in the social studies department.

Course listing coming soon.

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