2020-2021 Course Offerings

History

Comparative Global Studies I


Comparative Global Studies I invites students to consider what it means to be a member of our global community. Students will explore their place in the world through a skills-intensive and inter disciplinary regional studies curriculum. Course work will draw from the histories of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and will focus on regional interactions as well as the origins of cultural foundations. Students will be introduced to research, analytical writing, and source evaluation. This course is committed to global citizenship and excellence in the humanities, which asks students to think critically and independently and form a deeper awareness of self and others in the world. Prerequisites: None




Comparative Global Studies II


Comparative Global Studies II continues the regional study of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East through the lens of global politics, revolution, and human rights. Students will explore the historical patterns and political foundations that shape our world today in order to become confident, informed, and active participants in the 21st-century world. Students will refine a repertoire of academic skills including critical reading, analytical writing, and source evaluation. The course concludes with a comparative research seminar, for which students will write an analytical paper based on their independent study and research. Prerequisites: Comparative Global Studies I. New 10th graders: an equivalent 9th grade history course.




U.S. History


Since a large part of understanding who we are and what we aspire to be requires an awareness of what has come before us, this course will provide the material to help Madeira students identify their place in the narrative of United States history. Students will continue to develop the skills established during their history coursework from 9th and 10th grade, including critical analysis of primary and secondary sources; oral expression in the form of classroom discussion, debates, and role playing in historical simulations; analysis and expression in essays and short answer questions; and in-depth historical research techniques. The first module will provide students with a working knowledge of how the U.S. government functions and what role Capitol Hill plays. One module will provide Juniors with the skills necessary to thrive in a congressional office, including oral and written skills, awareness of current events, and the research skills necessary for completing the Co-curriculum Capstone Project. Prerequisite: Comparative Global Studies II. New 11th graders: an equivalent 10th grade history course. Modules:
American Revolution and the Constitution- Students will examine the causes of American independence and the formation of a new nation. In addition, students will learn the workings of the current U.S. government, with particular emphasis on the role of Congress. Students will also practice the writing and historical skills they learned in Comparative Global Studies II.
The Evolution of the United States' Role in the World - Students will examine how the United States went from a small, isolationist nation to a major world power by looking at diplomacy and wars. The capstone project will focus on a current U.S. foreign policy question of the student's choice. Prerequisites: American Revolution and the Constitution Civil Rights for All- Students will look at the development of the American slave system and its impact on American society. Students also will examine the causes of the Civil War and its impact. Finally, students will evaluate the efforts of women and other groups seeking equality in the United States. The capstone project will focus on a current women's rights question of the student's choice. Prerequisites: American Revolution and the Constitution
The Emergence of the United States as an Economic Power - Students trace the economic developments in the United States, including the First and Second Industrial Revolutions, the Great Depression, and the Affluent Society. The capstone project will focus on a current question?of U.S. economic policy. Prerequisites: American Revolution and the Constitution




Comparative Government and International Relations Seminar


Students will address the essential question: “What is the best way to provide order and prosperity to the inhabitants of the international community?” In answering this question, they will learn about a world full of countries with a wide diversity of political structures and practices. Students will learn about the sources of public authority and political power, the interrelationships among states, citizens and society, political institutions and frameworks, and forces for political change. Prerequisites: U.S. History




Global Justice Seminar


Students will explore the way systems of oppression have shaped opportunities to secure justice and freedom around the world in this discussion-based course. Central to our journey will be discussions of the following core concepts: cultural identity, racism, global structures of power, and resistance. Students will cast a wide net in an effort to develop an understanding of the quest for global social justice as they explore stories from every continent (with a heavy emphasis on Africa and the Americas). Students will develop the skills to become confident, informed, and active participants in the 21st century and can expect to read from a variety of college-level sources including text, art, poetry, and music. Prerequisites: U.S. History




Human Geography Seminar


By learning how to use and interpret maps, data sets, and geographic models, students will explore human social organization and its relationship to the global environment. The course examines the patterns and processes that have shaped our understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Course topics include the geography of population, migration, culture, religion, political organization and geography’s role in the electoral process, agriculture, urban planning, and international development. The course will employ the use of technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In addition, students will apply their newly acquired geographic skills to analyzing a social problem and organizing a solution in a service-learning exercise. Prerequisites: U.S. History




Topics in History


Topics in History electives provide students the opportunity to study a variety of history topics in greater depth and more sophistication. Students will hone their skills, including critical analysis of primary and secondary sources; oral expression in the form of classroom discussion, debates, and role-playing in historical simulations; analysis and expression in essays and short answer questions; and in-depth historical research techniques. Prerequisites: Comparative Global Studies II

Modules:

Presidential Elections: Past & Present: This course will look at the 2020 Presidential Election in depth, exploring the candidates, issues, and processes that will determine the chief executive of the United States for the next four years. In addition, students will study the history of the American presidential electoral system, from its design by the framers of the Constitution to its present-day operations. As part of this exploration, each student will complete a research project focused on a historic election.

Philosophy: What is the right thing to do? What constitutes a good and just society? How do we acquire knowledge and distinguish between knowledge and opinion? This course introduces students to the discipline of reasoning about fundamental principles. By reading classical works of philosophy and contemporary commentaries, students will learn how to construct logical arguments and reason about what constitutes good actions and justified belief.

The Study of Religion: How have human beings around the world throughout history experienced transcendence or the “holy?” This course takes a comparative approach to the academic study of religion. Through critical reading of religious texts and commentaries by contemporary scholars, students will learn to identify major beliefs as well as theological questions from the world’s religions. Special attention is given to the experiences of religious women and women’s experiences with religion.





Science

Biology


Biology at Madeira is a foundational course that introduces the science skills that students will develop and use throughout high school. Students will study the process of science and will survey the study of life. Laboratory exercises will be performed to reinforce concepts, and current events will be used to supplement discussions of biological issues. Prerequisites: None.

Modules:

BIO I: Biochemistry, Cells, and Cellular Processes - Topics may include (but are not limited to): the process of science, chemistry, biochemistry, types of cells and cell parts
BIO II: Genetics and Molecular Biology - Topics may include (but are not limited to): cell division, Mendelian genetics, DNA/RNA/protein synthesis, and biotechnology
BIO III: Evolution and Diversity of Life - Topics may include (but are not limited to): Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, modern evolutionary thought, overview of diversity of life, and some ecology.




Physics with Geometry


This project-based course is an introduction to the fundamental ideas of physics including applications to everyday experiences using concepts, mathematical calculations, and frequent hands-on applications. In their study of the physical universe, students will delve into many branches of physics, including matter and its motion, the nature of light, sound phenomena, electricity and magnetism. Mathematical calculations are used to enhance and describe ideas that are initially presented at a conceptual level. This course may be used to meet the Physics requirement for AP Biology but may not be used to meet the Physics requirement for AP Chemistry or AP Physics C. Prerequisites: Biology. Corequisites: Geometry, Functions and Applications, Algebra II.

Modules:

PWG I: Forces and Motion (required first course)
PWG: Energy
PWG: Simple Harmonic Motion & Waves




Chemistry


This course is intended to familiarize students with the fundamental concepts of chemistry as a physical science and includes chemical investigation through experimentation. This course requires the student to work with abstract concepts and requires considerable mathematical problem-solving skill. Topics covered in this course include organization of the periodic table, development of atomic theory and atomic structure, chemical bonding, writing and naming chemical compounds, classifying, balancing, and predicting products for chemical reactions, calculations with chemical quantities, intermolecular forces, the behavior of solids, liquids, gases, and solutions, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, and electrochemistry. Prerequisites: Biology. Corequisites: Must be currently taking Advanced Algebra II (or higher).

Modules:

CHEM I: Introduction to Chemistry - Topics will include atomic structure, elements, the periodic table and trends, bonding, molecular structures, kinetic theory, phases of matter, equilibrium, and writing and balancing reactions.
CHEM II: Quantitative Reactions - Topics will include nomenclature, unit conversions, chemical composition, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, and solutions.
CHEM III: Thermodynamics & Equilibrium - Topics will include Kinetic Molecular Theory, Gas Laws, Acid base properties, pH, kinetics, equilibrium, redox reactions and applications, and atomic chemistry.




Applied Chemistry


Applied Chem expands on the foundation of CHEM I topics by connecting to real-world applications. Questions investigated range from, Why do we need vitamins?, to What is a GMO?, to Is chemical warfare ethical? Each topic is examined through their impact on the chemical industry, society, and the economy in order to develop an appreciation for chemistry in the context of world events. The course will also give opportunities to discover and support ideas through first-hand laboratory experimentation. Students will push themselves to look at controversial topics through the lens of a scientist and develop skills for making compelling presentations. Prerequisites: Biology.

Modules:
CHEM I: Introduction to Chemistry (required first block)
Applied CHEM: Modern Materials - Topics covered could include the development of 20th century materials, specifically plastics, explosives, and electronics-related materials.
Applied CHEM: Global Challenges - Topics covered could include the compounds that contribute to global issues, specifically compounds with significant environmental and/or health impact.




Physics with Trigonometry


The focus of Physics with Trigonometry is to examine, explain, and analyze physical phenomena that occur in the world around us. New concepts are developed primarily through class discussion and laboratory work, and solving problems related to this material refines the understanding of these concepts. Students are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, both by working independently as well as with other students. Students are required to take three of the four modules for course credit. Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry with a B- or higher. Corequisites: Advanced Precalculus (or higher). If in Precalculus, permission required from Academic Dean and chair of the science department.

Modules:
PWT: Forces and Motion (required first course): Topics include an introduction to the course and the lab requirements, vectors, linear motion, projectiles, and Newton’s Laws of Motion.
PWT: Circle Motion and Conservation Laws: Topics include the study of uniform circular motion, universal gravitation, conservation of energy and conservation of momentum.
PWT: Harmonic Motions, Waves and Applications: Topics include simple harmonic motion, springs and spring forces, mechanical waves, sound, standing waves, and geometric optics.




AP Biology


AP Biology is a college-level course for students who have a serious interest in biology, who have the ability to learn challenging material on their own, and who wish to take the AP exam. Topics include: biochemistry, cells and cell division, genetics, DNA replication, protein synthesis, evolution, ecology, and plant and animal physiology. Emphasis is on biological statistics, data analysis, and experimental design as we practice AP-style questions and prepare for the exam in May. Workload and expectations in and out of class are comparable to a college course. AP Biology students are required to take the AP Biology exam in May. Prerequisites: Biology with a B (or higher), Chemistry with a B+ (or higher), Physics, and department approval.




AP Chemistry


AP Chemistry is a college-level, comprehensive study of chemistry for students with advanced mathematical skills, a background in basic biology, chemistry, and physics, and a strong interest in chemistry. This course covers topics introduced in Chemistry with greater depth and sophistication and focuses on the more complex topics of thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibria, electrochemistry, and the behavior of matter at the molecular level. Lectures, class discussions, mathematical problem solving, demonstrations, and laboratory investigations are the primary methods of developing these and other topics. This course is taught like a college course and requires the students to take responsibility for their own learning. The course work includes abstract material, involves complex problem solving, and demands explanations of phenomena rather than simple statements of theories, trends, or observations. AP Chemistry students are required to take the AP Chemistry exam in May. Prerequisites: Biology, A- (or higher) in Chemistry, B+ (or higher) in Physics with Trigonometry, and department approval. Corequisite: Physics with Trigonometry or AP Physics C




AP Physics C: Mechanics


Designed to prepare students for the AP Physics C exam, this is a calculus-based course in Mechanics intended for those who have already successful completed Physics with Trig: Forces and Motion. We will explore the concepts of kinematics, dynamics, energy, rotational motion, momentum and other applications of calculus to the physical world. New concepts will be developed through class, lab work, and experimental design. Students will work independently and in groups, but are responsible for their own learning. AP Physics C students will be required to take the AP Physics C: Mechanics exam in May. Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry, Physics with Trigonometry: Forces and Motion B+ (or higher), and department approval. Corequisites: AP Calculus BC or higher.




Computer Programming: An Introduction


This course introduces students to the principles of computer programming, including the study of object-oriented programming. Topics include the use of functions, loops, lists and variables in coding. Students create text-based projects using Python. In creating these projects, students learn the basic principles, logic, and beauty of programming. Strong logic skills are strongly recommended. Students who are considering studying engineering in college are strongly encouraged to take this course. This course satisfies the coding requirement. Prerequisites: None

*Special Note: This course satisfies the coding requirement.




Environmental Science


Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field that examines how natural systems function on Earth and how humans affect the environment. The environment is defined as everything, living and nonliving, that surrounds us. Environmental Science incorporates many disciplines: biology (especially ecology), chemistry, physics, politics, sociology, economics, and ethics. Topics covered in this class will include a selection of the following: biodiversity; food, agriculture, and soil; water resource and pollution issues; solid waste disposal; fossil fuels; alternative energy resources; the atmosphere and air pollution; acid deposition; ozone depletion; and climate change. Students will play a role in determining which topics are covered during the module. The coursework will be supported by laboratory and field studies. Students will also have the opportunity to become better acquainted with the natural beauty of Madeira’s campus. Prerequisites: None




Forensic Science


This course is designed to give students the opportunity to learn how scientific principles are applied to fields such as law enforcement and anthropology. From fingerprints to DNA, bite marks to shoe prints, and blood spatter to trace evidence, forensic science requires the knowledge of biology, geology, botany, chemistry, and physics. Using a multidisciplinary and hands-on approach, students will learn the fundamentals of forensic science and develop logical problem-solving skills through the use of both case studies and laboratory experiments. Prerequisites: None

Modules:
Forensics: Biological Evidence - Topics may include hair and DNA analysis, blood spatter patterns, bones and bite marks, and toxicology.
Forensics: Physical Evidence - Topics may include crime scene analysis, police line-ups, types of evidence, microscopy, patterns & impressions of evidence, trace evidence, and handwriting analysis.




Human Anatomy and Physiology


In this elective course, students will investigate various human organ systems. Topics may include histology, physiology, gross anatomy, and pathology for the organ systems studied. Prerequisites: Biology

Modules:
Cardiovascular and Digestive Systems
Nervous and Endocrine Systems




Robotics


This course introduces the fundamental concepts of building robots and programming them. Using robots and the corresponding programming language, we will explore problem solving and program design. This will be a project-based course, requiring a high level of collaboration and incorporating the necessary problem-solving skills along with the school’s core values of resilience, intellectual curiosity, and creativity. Prerequisites: None

*Special Note: This course satisfies the coding requirement.




Topics in Science


This course will investigate one or more major scientific challenges facing the world today. Types of topics could include (but are not limited to) climate change, scientific literacy, and education, as well as ethical considerations with emerging technologies. The class is collaborative and project-based culminating in a class-produced product. Prerequisites: None





English

English II: British Literature in an English-Speaking World


During the second year of required English, students explore our literary heritage in English from the Middle Ages to the present post-colonial world. Students learn how to write analytical essays that connect form to meaning. Building knowledge of literary terms and increasing general vocabulary lay a foundation for the practice of clear, effective writing. Prerequisites: English I.

Modules:
Shakespeare Through Performance II (required) - Students will study one of Shakespeare's plays through reading and writing and through performances presented to the wider school community. Through analytical and imaginative pieces, they will examine Shakespeare’s use of language and dramatic conventions. They will gain a fuller appreciation of Shakespeare's meaning through rehearsing and performing selected scenes and sonnets.

Writing Mechanics and Global Literature (required) - This course pairs intensive grammar instruction with reading and analyzing contemporary short stories and the play “Master Harold” … and the boys. Students will learn to write with greater grammatical correctness so that they can express ideas more precisely in their academic and future professional careers. Reading the short stories and play will provide contemporary cultural topics for the students to write about. These students conduct biographical research on individual authors.

Writing with Style about Global Literature (can substitute for Writing Mechanics and Global Literature - required) - Students who test out of Writing Mechanics cultivate their prose style in this workshop-style course where they read and respond to each other's writing, in addition to receiving feedback from their teacher. Reading short stories and the play "Master Harold" ... and the boys will provide contemporary cultural topics for student writing. These students conduct biographical research on individual authors.

Literary Masterpieces: Jane Eyre - Students will study Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre. Close reading of the text, vocabulary building, and learning about the social history of Britain will enhance students’ understanding of this work. Students will demonstrate their understanding primarily through analytical essays. Prerequisite: Writing Mechanics and Global Literature.

Literary Masterpieces: Satire in Chaucer and Austen - Students will study the social satire of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Close reading of the texts, vocabulary building, and researching the social history of Britain will enhance students’ understanding of these two works. Students will demonstrate their understanding primarily through analytical essays. Prerequisite: Writing Mechanics and Global Literature.

Literary Masterpieces: Poetry - This course will expand students’ appreciation of poetic forms and of the history of poetry in English from the medieval Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, to the famous Renaissance and Romantic periods, and finally to the present. Students will learn strategies for discovering meaning in poems through close attention to literary devices and through an awareness of common themes in various time periods or in a particular poet’s oeuvre. Students will demonstrate their understanding through expressive recitation and analytical essays. Prerequisite: Writing Mechanics and Global Literature.




English III: American Literature


English III offers a thematic approach to American Literature, introducing students to a variety of texts from major literary movements and historical periods such as Colonial America, Slavery to Civil Rights, Modernism, and Contemporary Multicultural Literature. In both their writing and in-class discussions, students practice close textual analysis that develops increased skill in the interpretation of literary techniques and rhetorical strategies. Students conduct research on American authors and poets to synthesize literary criticism with their own original arguments. Some students may choose to take the AP English Language and Composition exam in May of their junior year. Prerequisites: English I & English II.

Modules:

From Slavery to Civil Rights: Literature of Change (required) - Students will read and analyze Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man in order to interrogate the ideals of the United States through African American experiences. Along with close study of language and narrative techniques in the text themselves, students will learn their historical contexts by studying related literature and art. Students will explore the conversations these works have engendered through analysis, synthesis, and argumentative writing. Students will learn how to defend an argument and use rhetorical devices in academic writing.

American Gothic: Challenging Limitations - This course will focus on fiction that depicts the changing role of women spanning the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century. It will explore the obstacles, both internal and external, women faced in defining their own lives. Students will read Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Toni Morrison's Sula, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper,” as well as other short stories. Since the American Gothic tradition is a common element among these texts, students will explore how it arose as a way to navigate and challenge social limitations. Students will also learn how to integrate literary criticism into their writing as part of a larger research paper. Prerequisite: From Slavery to Civil Rights.

American Modernism: Breaking the Form - In this module, students will examine how Modernist writers questioned or outright denied assurances provided by religion, politics, social norms, and traditional forms of art. The course will also examine how these writers processed World Wars I and II. Texts include Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and poetry from the Harlem Renaissance. Students will also learn how to integrate literary criticism into their writing, including the development of an annotated bibliography, as part of a larger research paper. Prerequisite: From Slavery to Civil Rights.

Native and Asian American Perspectives: Voices of the American Experience - Students will study the Chinese American immigrant experiences and the Native American experiences through the lenses of memoir and short story. Texts include Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Students will learn to write analytically and creatively about identity formation from a multicultural perspective. In addition to analytical writing, students will develop a creative nonfiction essay that parlays into their college application essay process. Prerequisite: From Slavery to Civil Rights.




English I


During the first year of required English, students are introduced to fundamental texts from widely different cultures and time periods in order to shape and explore questions essential to the study of literature in English. In order for students to build multidisciplinary literacy, English I also tasks students with learning how the arts and sociohistorical contexts inform their texts. Students learn the process of crafting expository writing, moving from invention strategies to revision. Throughout the year, vocabulary building and grammar work help lay a foundation for clear, effective writing. Prerequisites: None




English IV


During the fourth year of required English, all students take three modules drawn from a broad range of offerings, including AP English Literature and Composition. Building upon the close, scholarly relationships with their peers and teachers during prior study, students flex and advance their skills in critical thinking and analytical and creative writing. Prerequisites: English I, English II, and English III. (Students may take one English III module to satisfy this requirement—excluding From Slavery to Civil Rights.)

Modules:

A Woman’s Voice - Female writers, like male writers, do not all write alike. Every writer has her own voice, and the women we will study are no different. We will read a variety of modern female authors, including Virginia Woolf, Edwidge Danticat, Marjane Satrapi, and Amy Tan, to explore notions of family and community, cultural and economic norms, and the role of authority. Students will also examine narrative structure, as all of the texts use unique methods to weave stories together and express the messages at their heart.

Expatriates in Paris - Paris in the early twentieth century was a center of literary and artistic innovation, drawing many Americans and other foreigners who delighted in the beautiful surroundings and the creative environment. This course focuses on writers, painters, dancers, and musicians, many of whom we now call "modernist." We begin with Hollywood's dreamy version of this world depicted in the 1951 film An American in Paris. We then compare the romanticized versions of expatriate writers' work to the reality by reading Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, and other short selections. Through documentary films, art images, and music recordings, we explore the works of Picasso, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Josephine Baker, and Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. We conclude by studying the influence of the Parisian avant-garde on Thornton Wilder's classic American play, Our Town.

Future Fiction - Students will examine the ethical issues facing modern society by reading fiction about the future. Students will explore the benefits and dangers of scientific innovations and to reconcile them with civic responsibilities and human rights through the moral dilemmas found in science fiction. Texts include Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and excerpts from the greats (such as Isaac Asimov, Philip K Dick, Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury). Students will view excerpts from the television series Watchmen, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Black Mirror.

Getting Medieval - The Middle Ages are distant and close, strange and familiar. The epithet “medieval” may call to mind knights, castles, dungeons and torture, and religious conflict—generally, a weird and murky past. How have we come to know about that past? Or, how do we think we know about it? In this course we will range across the rich tradition of medieval literature—with a special focus on romance and the heroic—and other art, medieval and modern, in which the limits of knowledge and imagination are stretched to reveal the diversity of the medieval vision. Texts include Beowulf, The Quest of the Holy Grail, selections from Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, and Juan Ruiz's The Book of Good Love.

Mother, May I? - People have always told stories in order to explain or make sense of the world around them. Science, in some way, has often sought to prove or disprove those same stories. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the collision between the stories we tell ourselves about the mystery of life and the science behind its creation is both sublime and terrifying. This course will approach one of the most famous horror stories of all time from a literary, psychological, and scientific perspective. Students will also consider the influence of Shelley's cadre of literary friends and family on her own work. Throughout, students will hone their research, analytical, and creative writing skills. Texts include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and selections from Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Students will also explore the work of William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, and George Gordon, Lord Byron.

Poetry Writing Workshop - This course is structured as a workshop and focuses on poetry created by the class. Students will write a variety of poems—from formal sonnets and villanelles to pantoums and free verse poems—and participate in regular discussion of each other’s work. Based on feedback from the class and teacher, and their own expanding expertise, they will then revise their work and compile it in a final portfolio. Students will also read and analyze a diverse selection of poems to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the vast array of poetic voices that exist throughout the world and across time. As a culmination of the course, students will have the opportunity to share their poetry with the Madeira community.




AP English Literature and Composition


This course offers students an introductory college-level curriculum and requires them to take the AP English Literature exam in May. Students develop their skills in critical thinking, analytical writing, and close reading through daily discussion, diverse writing assignments, and AP exam practice. Texts will be drawn from a range of genres, including poetry, fiction and drama, and will represent major artistic statements of the periods ranging from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century. For the third block of senior English, AP students will be enrolled in an English IV elective. Prerequisite: Department approval




International Student English, Year One (ISE 1)


This class is required for all first-year students in the International Student English Program. The course helps students acclimate to The Madeira School and to academic standards and practices in the United States. Students develop their familiarity with the tools available to them for their studies in English: dictionaries (bound and online), library reference and research databases, grammar resources, and course-management, word-processing, and presentation software. Throughout the course, students build their vocabularies and increase their oral communication skills through public speaking practice, interviews, group presentations, and frequent discussion of readings.
The course also offers intensive instruction in writing, with a special focus on learning the process of composing the expository essay. Students practice prewriting, thesis construction, paragraph development, drafting, and revision. Additionally, students are taught to apply U.S. conventions of language and grammar outside the expository essay, in e-mail, letters, resumes, creative writing, and presentations. Prerequisite: None. Corequisite: ISE1 I: Introduction to Madeira Scholarship must be completed prior to taking English I courses.

Modules:
ISE1 I: Introduction to Madeira Scholarship
ISE1 II: Working with Literature
ISE1 III: Working with Research




International Student English, Year Two (ISE 2)


This class is required for all second-year ISE students. Year Two allows students more time and instructor attention to develop grade-appropriate English reading and writing skills across the Madeira curriculum. The course emphasizes the development of composition skills through writing exercises that hone the use of correct grammar and punctuation. Additionally, students explore ways to craft more substantive thesis statements and build cohesive arguments as they use examples from their texts, employ correct citations, and frame conclusions that are more discovery than mere summary. They work closely with the instructor in drafting, editing, and rewriting assignments. Throughout the course, students further improve their reading comprehension by practicing annotation techniques and identifying significant passages in their texts for discussion. In the third block, rigorous attention is paid to the development of public speaking skills. Each module has a different content focus, though reading, writing, speaking and listening skills are developed and honed in each module.

Modules:
ISE2 I: Madeira’s School Values
ISE2 II: Literary Analysis: A Masterwork in English
ISE2 III: Public Speaking





Math

Algebra I


Students apply the basic concepts of arithmetic to the language of algebra and work with the structure and properties of the real number system. They learn to solve first- and second-degree equations, linear systems, and inequalities; they learn techniques of graphing and factoring; they work with polynomials, exponents, and radicals; and they set up and solve word problems. This course or its equivalent is a prerequisite for all subsequent courses in the department. Prerequisites: None




Geometry


Students learn to identify angle relationships, scale, proportion, triangle congruence, and similarity, how perpendicular and parallel relationships unify and extend earlier concepts, and how to apply new knowledge to applications in circles, polygons, and right triangles. Students learn how to compute the area of plane figures and apply trigonometric skills to problem-solving in their work with a variety of 2-D shapes. Students will apply principles of algebra with continued practice and reinforcement while also demonstrating increasing flexibility with coordinate geometry, building a strong foundation for success in higher mathematics. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Algebra I. New Students - by placement test.




Bridge to Algebra II


Students will review Algebra 1 topics including solving linear equations and inequalities, solving absolute value equations and inequalities, direct variation word problems, graphing linear functions, graphing absolute value equations, graphing piecewise functions, solving systems of linear equations. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Geometry B or below. New Students - by placement test.




Algebra II


This course extends the algebraic principles learned in Algebra I, including an exploration of different number systems such as radical and complex numbers. Students will study the algebraic and graphical properties of a wide variety of functions including quadratic, polynomial functions, radical, rational, trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Bridge to Algebra II or Geometry B+ or higher. New Students - by placement test.




Advanced Algebra II


The course assumes a strong mastery of the material in Algebra I and an ability to manage material at a faster pace than is offered in Algebra II. The course will broaden a student's understanding of foundation topics while applying these topics to more complex problems. New topics such as polynomial, logarithmic, and rational numbers will be studied. In addition, students will learn skills in abstract reasoning and quantitative thinking with non-traditional problems as well as exploring the full capabilities of the graphing calculator. Prerequisites: Returning Students - by placement test. New Students - by placement test and the Academic Dean and Math Department Chair’s approval.




Trigonometry -1


Trigonometry is a field of mathematics in which the geometric properties of the angles and side-lengths of triangles are used in both theory and real-world applications. Foundational geometry concepts will be extended in order to address right-triangle relationships, the unit circle, equations with and graphs of all six trigonometric functions, sinusoidal motions, inverse trigonometric functions, identities, double angle formulas, and half angle formulas. This course is taken in conjunction with Precalculus or Advanced Algebra II and is a prerequisite for Calculus and AP Calculus AB. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Advanced Algebra II or PreCalculus -1. New Students - by placement test and the Academic Dean and Math Department Chair’s approval.




Functions and Applications


This course reviews and extends topics from Algebra II, including quadratic, polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions, while introducing the concepts of data collection and analysis. Students will work on projects that require the analysis of real-world data. This course emphasizes problem solving and modeling and is designed to be taken in conjunction with Applied Mathematics: Math in Motion. Prerequisites: Algebra II




Precalculus


This course focuses on extending topics from Algebra II, including quadratic, polynomial, radical, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions. New units, such as conic sections, sequences and series, limits, and the definition of the derivative will be introduced. This course is designed for students who will proceed to the concepts in Calculus. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Algebra II with a B- or higher or Functions and Applications. New Students - by placement test and the Academic Dean and Math Department Chair’s approval.




Advanced Precalculus


This course provides an introduction to higher mathematics and helps to develop the skills and study habits necessary for a rigorous math program. This course will continue to expand on topics from Advanced Algebra II, including rational, exponential and logarithmic functions. New units, such as probability, conic sections, sequences and series, limits, and derivatives will be introduced. This course is designed to prepare students for AP Calculus. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Advanced Algebra II with a B+ or higher; by placement test and department approval. New Students - by placement test and the Academic Dean and Math Department Chair’s approval.




Trigonometry -2


This course extends the concepts of Trigonometry-1 first examining non-right-angle triangles, and then the geometry and applications of vectors. Alternate graphing systems such as polar co-ordinates and parametric equations will also be explored. This course is taken in conjunction with Advanced Precalculus. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Trigonometry -1 with a B+ or better. New Students - by placement test and the Academic Dean and Math Department Chair’s approval.




Calculus


This course provides an introduction to first-year college calculus. Topics will include a review of functions, limits, continuity, rates of change, the derivative, and integration. Emphasis is on understanding of concepts and mechanical manipulation. Prerequisites: Returning Students - Trigonometry-1, Precalculus with a B- or higher, or Advanced Precalculus. New Students - by placement test and the Academic Dean and Math Department Chair’s approval.




AP Calculus AB


This course continues the path to higher mathematics and helps to develop the skills and study habits necessary for a rigorous math program. Students explore differential and integral calculus and their applications while learning to approach problems from a variety of perspectives-graphical, analytical, numerical, and verbal. Technology is used to explore the behaviors of functions and to make connections with analytic procedures. Students are required to sit for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam in the spring. Prerequisites: Trigonometry -1, Advanced Precalculus with a B or higher, Precalculus with an A or higher, or Calculus, and department approval.




AP Calculus BC


In this rigorous course, students review the topics covered in Calculus AB, extend the procedures learned to include more sophisticated integration methods, and explore vectors, parametric and polar functions, and techniques in solving differential equations. Students analyze the behavior of sequences and series beyond arithmetic and geometric ones, with particular attention to divergence, convergence, intervals of convergence, and various test methods. Technology is used, particularly the programmable capabilities of the calculator, to simulate real-life applications of the concepts and to enhance understanding. Students are required to sit for the Advanced Placement Calculus BC exam in the spring. Students who complete AP Calculus AB prior to taking this course may elect not to take the first block of BC. Prerequisites: Trigonometry -1, Trigonometry -2, Advanced Precalculus with a A- or higher, AP Calculus AB with a B or higher, or Calculus with an A or higher, and department approval.




Multivariable Calculus


This course provides an introduction to multivariable and vector calculus. The course covers vectors and analytic geometry in three dimensions, partial differentiation, multiple integration, and ends with vector calculus topics that build up to Green's, Stokes', and the Divergence Theorem. Students develop new problem-solving and critical reasoning skills and to prepare them for further study in mathematics, the physical sciences, or engineering. Topics include surfaces in three-dimensional space, algebraic and geometric properties of vectors and vector functions in two and three dimensions, dot products and cross products, derivatives and integrals of vector functions, partial derivatives of functions of several variables, directional derivatives and gradients of scalar functions, multiple variable maximum and minimum value problems, double and triple integrals, line integrals, Green’s theorem, and Stoke’s theorem. This course will be offered on a rotating basis with Linear Algebra and will be offered in '21-'22. Prerequisites: AP Calculus BC or AP Calculus AB with an A or higher.




Linear Algebra


This course provides a study of computational and proof techniques of matrix algebra and an introduction to vector spaces. It pushes students to ask questions and communicate mathematical thinking. Topics covered include matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, least squares, vector spaces, inner products, and introduction to numerical techniques, and applications of linear algebra. Students also explore linear transformations, matrix representations of a linear transformation, characteristics and minimal polynomials, and diagonalization of a matrix. This course will be offered on a rotating basis with Multivariable Calculus and will be offered in '20-'21. Prerequisites: AP Calculus BC or AP Calculus AB with an A or higher.




Introduction to Computer Science


This course provides students with experiences in using computer programming techniques and skills to solve problems that can be set up as mathematical models. Programming concepts, problem-solving strategies, and mathematical applications are integrated throughout the course. Students develop skills in defining, writing, and running programs on a computer through an individual approach that allows them to work with both mathematical and non-mathematical problems. Java is the main programming language taught. This course satisfies the coding requirement. Prerequisite: Algebra II




AP Computer Science


This course focuses on object-oriented software design and programming methodology, algorithms, and data structures. Java will be the major programming language. This course is equivalent to an introductory college course in Computer Science. Applications of computing provide the context in which these subjects are treated. Applications are used to develop student awareness of the need for particular algorithms and data structures, as well as to provide topics for programming assignments to which students can apply their knowledge. Treatments of computer systems and the social implications of computing are integrated into the course. Prerequisites: Introduction to Computer Science, Algebra II, and department approval.




Statistics


Modules (non-sequential):

Probability: This course centers on the rules and applications of probability. Students will explore many facets of probability from games of chance to simulation to applications in fields as diverse as the internet and medicine. In addition to learning probability rules, permutations and combinations, students will use Venn diagrams, two-way tables and tree diagrams. Students will learn about conditional probabilities and independence. This hands-on, project-based course will expose students to the real uses of probability.

Data and Display: Students examine data on two fronts: how to analyze data using scatterplots and regression calculations, and how to display data to show relationships between variables. These displays will include dot plots, bar charts, stem and leaf diagrams, box plots and histograms. Students further learn when to use each of these displays optimally. This hands-on, project-based course will expose students to real uses of statistics and the role data plays in our fact-hungry culture. In addition to learning how to use tables and display data, students will learn and apply standardization and the normal curve. This course is the first block of AP Statistics.




AP Statistics


This course introduces students to the major concepts about and tools for collecting and analyzing data. The course begins with a thorough examination of descriptive statistics including graphical and numeric methods for describing data, and observational study vs. experimental design. The next topics include probability, random variables and probability distributions. The course then moves into inferential statistics, covering sampling distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing for single samples and two populations or treatments. Finally, homogeneity, linear regression and inferences about correlation are examined. Students are required to sit for the AP Statistics exam in May. Prerequisites: Advanced Algebra II, Functions and Application, or Pre-Calculus, and department approval.




Applied Mathmatics: Math in Motion


In this project-based course, students will bring together math, science, technology, arts and engineering, to design and fabricate a gyroscope. Students will develop an understanding of basic mathematical functions in 2 dimensions and how to bring these shapes to life in 3-dimensions. Students will discuss the physics of rotational motion and will fabricate a gyroscope using 3D printing technology and other equipment in the Fab Lab. Students will be exposed to engineering concepts, such as critical thinking, CAD (Computer Aided Design), prototyping, testing, and re-evaluating their design. The course will culminate with the students’ presentations of their finished products to the class, including a thorough analysis of their design journey and the product’s movement. This course will provide students with opportunities to develop their research, critical thinking, and fabrication skills as they design a functional demonstration of physics in motion. Prerequisites: Algebra II





World Languages

Bridge to French I


This course is designed for students who have not studied French previously. The course introduces them to the language in a welcoming environment and at a pace appropriate to a first exposure of the language. Students are introduced to greetings and salutations, classroom expressions, nouns and articles, simple adjectives, numbers, colors, time and days of the week. The course begins to familiarize the student with conjugations of regular verbs and formation of simple sentences. Prerequisite: No previous experience.




French I


This course is for students with limited knowledge of French. It reinforces the acquisition of basic grammatical structures and vocabulary in culturally authentic contexts through speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. The students are introduced to cultural aspects of France and the Francophone world. Additionally, at the end of this course, students will be able to describe people and things, talk about past times, weekend activities and sports, to express possession, to narrate in the present and to make plans. Prerequisite: Some French exposure, students who have finished Bridge to French I with a B or better, or by placement test.




Bridge to French II


This course is designed for the new student who has taken French at her previous school and who needs to review the material from level I prior to enrolling in the rigorous Madeira French II course or for the returning Madeira student who will benefit from a review. Students will review grammar using four main communicative functions: describing, talking about likes and dislikes, comparing, talking about the past and the future. Cultural understanding will also be reinforced throughout the class. Prerequisite: Returning students - French I with a B-, C+, or C. New Students - by placement test.




French II


Students continue to build vocabulary and grammar skills started in level I. Most verb tenses and moods are covered such as: passé composé, imperfect, present conditional, future simple, subjunctive. The course is taught in French through a series of thematic units such as getting by at the doctor’s office and hospital, running errands, using technology, and protecting the environment. Students are expected to participate fully in class discussions and projects. By the end of the course, the student should be able to talk about the environment, to express their beliefs and opinions about the use of technology, to describe medical conditions, to narrate past experiences and to consider future plans. A proficiency-based approach, reinforced by group projects, will be used in this class. Prerequisite: Returning students - French I with a B or better, or Bridge to French II with a B or better. New students - by placement test.




French III


This course further develops students' communication and literacy skills. Students enhance their language proficiency while improving their cultural competency using a variety of authentic texts (articles, interviews, literary texts and video). Students develop their communicative skills in the target language through conversations about daily life and current events and discussions and debates in which they offer opinions and exchange ideas. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students learn about the life, people and history of Francophone countries, build cultural awareness and understanding. This course creates a path for students to continue to French IV or AP French. Prerequisite: Returning students - French II with a C+ or better. New students - by placement test.




French IV


This course introduces students to classic and contemporary French and Francophone theatre. Selected classic and contemporary texts will be used in the class to help students gain a basic understanding of the historical evolution of French and Francophone theatre. Throughout the course, students will create a glossary of both technical and literary terms to utilize when analyzing the works of great playwrights. They will then apply basic techniques of pronunciation and diction to transform these written texts into a theatrical performance. Prerequisites: Returning students – French III with a B or better. New students - by placement test.




AP French Language & Culture


The AP French Language and Culture course takes an interdisciplinary approach to language proficiency. The course engages students in an exploration of culture, socio-economy, and politics, in both contemporary and historical contexts. When communicating, students in the AP French Language and Culture course demonstrate an understanding of the cultures, make comparisons between the native language and the target language and between cultures, and use the target language in real-life settings. Prerequisites: Returning students - French III with an A- average or better and department approval. New students - by placement test and departmental approval.

Modules:
Identity and Contemporary Life - Students study the social customs, values, lifestyle, and education of French-speaking countries. They explore their connection with personal and public identities inherited or developed in these countries.

Science, Technology, and the Arts - Students focus on technology and scientific innovations as well as in the arts to explore themes related to STEAM.

Global Challenges - Students focus on social, economic, environmental, and political issues in Francophone countries in order to discuss human rights principles and reflect upon our responsibility as global citizens.




Latin I


Latin I introduces students to the fundamentals of Latin grammar and vocabulary through the reading-based approach of the Cambridge Latin Course. Students learn to translate Latin through stories that follow a Roman family from Pompeii to Roman Britain and Alexandria while illustrating important aspects of Roman history, culture and daily life. Students explore the language and culture of the Roman Empire through projects and examine the relationship between Latin and English including English words derived from Latin and Latin phrases and abbreviations that we use to this day. Prerequisite: None




Latin II


Latin II builds on the vocabulary and grammar of Latin I and introduces more complicated grammatical constructions such as participles, subjunctives, indirect statement, and the passive voice. Students improve their proficiency in the language as they work toward reading authentic texts. Readings and projects expand students’ knowledge of Roman culture and history with a focus on the Roman military, Roman philosophy and the ins and outs of life in Rome. Prerequisite: Returning students - Latin I with a C or better. New students - by placement test.




Latin III


Latin III provides an overview of Latin grammar as students learn to translate and interpret authentic Latin texts. Students become familiar with a variety of styles and genres as they read and analyze representative selections from the works of the most famous Latin authors and their work. Students will read excerpts from Pliny's Letters, the epigrams of Martial, the poems of Horace and Catullus, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Vergil's Aeneid, and Livy's Ab: Urbe Condita (history of Rome). Prerequisite: Returning students - Latin II with a C or better. New students - by placement test.




Latin IV / AP Latin


This course introduces students to two of the best-known works of Latin literature, Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico and Vergil's Aeneid, and two of the most important periods in Roman history, the Late Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. It is designed to prepare students for the AP exam with an emphasis not only on translating Latin prose and poetry but also on building arguments based on evidence taken from the Latin text. The class includes an accelerated review of grammar and an introduction to essential aspects of the interpretation of Caesar and Vergil (or any piece of history or literature), including genre, style, themes, and characterization. Students who want to earn AP credit must take the AP exam. Prerequisite: Returning students: For Latin IV - Latin III with a C+ or better; For AP Latin - Latin III with an A- average or better and department approval. New students: by placement test and departmental approval.




Classical Mythology and Etymology


The premise of this course is that Ancient Greece and Rome continue to exert an influence on the language we speak and the stories we tell. Students learn to recognize the Greek and Latin roots of the English language and to break down English words for meaning. Students gain familiarity with the most famous myths of the ancient world and trace their ongoing influence in literature, film and the visual arts. Topics include Greek and Roman gods, constellations, the Greek alphabet, basic story structure and genre, the history of the English language, and an introduction to important concepts in historical linguistics, such as homonyms, assimilation, and cognates. Prerequisite: None




Bridge to Spanish I


This course is designed for students who have not studied Spanish previously. The course introduces them to the language in a welcoming environment and at a pace appropriate to a first exposure to the language. Students are introduced to classroom expressions, nouns and articles, simple adjectives, numbers, colors, time and days of the week. At the end of this class, students will be able to introduce themselves, talk about their school life and everyday activities, describe location of people and things, and ask questions. Prerequisite: By placement test.




Spanish I


This course introduces students to some basic communicative functions, vocabulary and structures of the Spanish language in culturally authentic contexts through speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension exercises. Using authentic materials students will also begin to explore Spanish traditions and culture. At the end of this course, students will be able to describe people and things, talk about past times, weekend activities and sports, to express possession, to narrate in the present and to make plans. Prerequisite: Some Spanish exposure, students who have finished Bridge to Spanish I with a B or better, or by placement test.




Bridge to Spanish II


This course is designed for the new student who has taken Spanish at her previous school and needs to review the material from level 1 prior to enrolling in the rigorous Madeira Spanish II course or for the returning Madeira student who would benefit from review. Students will review grammar using four main communicative functions: describing, talking about likes and dislikes, comparing, talking about the past and the future. Cultural understanding will also be reinforced throughout the class. Prerequisite: Returning students - Spanish I with a B-, C+, or C. New students - by placement test.




Spanish II


This course reinforces and expands the student’s knowledge of the basic communicative functions, vocabulary and structures learned in Spanish I. Students continue to develop their linguistic skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) using authentic materials and discuss cultural aspects of Spanish-speaking countries. Some of the topics include health and medical conditions, city and work lives, the environment and the use of technology. At the end of this course, students will be able to talk about the environment, to express their beliefs and opinions about the use of technology, to describe medical conditions, to narrate past experiences and to consider future plans. A proficiency-based approach, reinforced by group projects, will be used in this class. Prerequisite: Returning students – Spanish I with a B or better, or Bridge to Spanish II with a B or better. New students - by placement test.




Spanish III


This course further develops the communication and literacy skills introduced in the first two years of our Spanish program. Through a variety of authentic texts (articles, interviews, literary texts and video) students enhance their language proficiency while improving their cultural competency. With an emphasis on communication, students develop their ability to communicate their personal background, interests and activities; to narrate and describe events in the past, present and future; and to participate in conversations about topics of general interest, in which they offer opinions, reactions and recommendations. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students learn about the life, people and history of different Spanish-speaking countries to strengthen their awareness of other cultures and to think more critically about their own. Emphasis will also be placed on Hispanic culture in the United States. Classes are conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: Returning students – Spanish II with a C+ or better. New students - by placement test.




Spanish IV


This course gives a fresh approach to advanced Spanish language through films and authentic material of different literary genres. It offers an integration of literature, culture and film while also focusing students in critical thinking, interpretation, speaking and writing skills. Classes are conducted in Spanish. At the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of certain moments of history in Latin America, its social structure, its struggle for democracy, its culture and traditions and will be able to assess the role and influence of the United States in the development of some of the countries. Students will engage in these topics by reading short stories written by Uruguayan, Argentine, Colombian, and Peruvian authors, by reading two plays, and by watching a variety of films including “Like water for Chocolate” directed by Alfonso Arau, “Pan’s Labyrinth”, directed by Guillermo del Toro, “Captive” by Gastón Biraben, “Clandestine Childhood” by Benjamín Ávila, “The Son of the Bride” directed by José Campanella, and “Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown” by Pedro Almodovar. Prerequisite: Returning students – Spanish III with a B or better. New students - by placement test and departmental approval.




AP Spanish Language and Culture


This course follows the guidelines of the College Board AP Spanish Language and Culture course and provides opportunities for students to build their proficiency in the modes of communication from the Intermediate to the Advanced range according to ACTFL standards. The three modes of communication (Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational) defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century are foundational to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course.
The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is conducted exclusively in Spanish. Central to the course is the overarching goal stated in the Curriculum Framework: When communicating, students in the AP Spanish Language and Culture course demonstrate an understanding of the cultures, incorporate interdisciplinary topics, make comparisons between the native language and the target language and between cultures, and use the target language in real-life settings. Prerequisites: Returning students – Spanish III with a A- average or better and department approval. New students - by placement test and departmental approval.

Modules:

Identity and Contemporary Life - Students study the social customs, values, lifestyle, and education of Spanish-speaking countries. They explore their connection with personal and public identities inherited or developed in these countries.

Global Challenges - Students focus on social, economic, environmental, and political issues in Spanish-speaking countries in order to discuss human rights principles and reflect upon our responsibility as global citizens.

Science, Technology, and the Arts – Students focus on technology and scientific innovation as well as in the arts to explore themes related to STEAM.





Student Life

Student Life


The Student Life ninth grade curriculum engages students in the examination of who they are as individuals and as community members, how they influence and are influenced by others, and how they can care for themselves and cultivate healthy and inclusive communities. Each student will develop and apply essential life skills as she builds a deeper understanding of herself and of those around her. Students will be assessed through experiential activities, inquiry-based projects, presentations, journal entries, papers, and class participation. This course is taught by faculty and staff members from various departments, giving students the opportunity to learn from community members not usually found in the classroom. These faculty and staff members bring their unique, professional perspectives to the curriculum. Prerequisite: None




Civil Discourse in Today's World: Why is it so hard to get along?


Civil discourse has long been viewed as a fundamental building block of successful societies and democracies. But in today’s increasingly partisan American culture, are we losing the ability to engage and share ideas in a persuasive, spirited, informed and most importantly, respectful, way? In this class, students will explore the foundations of successful civil discourse, active listening, and media literacy. While examining different communication styles, students will delve into the concept of confirmation bias and how the practice of consuming our news only from sources with whom we share the same biases serves to widen the ideological divides in our society. We will also explore what questions we should be asking to be discerning, media-literate consumers in an increasingly complex information ecosystem. Throughout the course, students will research a variety of issues and then, through a combination of journaling and structured conversations, will practice the skills they have learned. Prerequisite: None




Introduction to Horsemanship


This class is an introduction to riding, designed for students who have had minimal or no previous experience with horses. Students will learn how to groom, lead, tack, mount and dismount. Students will also learn the correct position and basic controls while riding a horse in the walk and trot. The theory and practice of basic horse care will also be taught. Prerequisite: Department approval. This course has a physical fitness requirement.




Microcontrollers and Coding


This course offers an exploration of topics in programming and physical computing while giving students the opportunity to develop the critical 21st-century skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This course is open to students of all coding levels from beginner to advanced. Students will work with the teacher to develop a personal learning path. This course will be taught through a blended model, allowing for both face-to-face and online interactions with the teacher and each other, and giving students the opportunity to learn in an environment that sparks creativity and to practice time management and self-motivation skills. Prerequisite: None

*Special Note: This course satisfies the coding requirement. A Windows or Mac OS laptop with administrator rights and USB are required for this class.




Mindfulness and The Brain


Mindfulness practice involves paying attention to the present moment in a specific and deliberate way without judgment. Research shows that mindfulness can have a profound impact on the way neurons fire in the brain and subsequently the way different regions in the brain, most notably the prefrontal cortex, communicate with each other. In other words, mindfulness practice can permanently influence how we think. Through examination of the work of Daniel Siegel, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and others, students will investigate the anatomy, functions, and interconnectedness of the brain, how the brain continues to change over the lifespan, and how mindfulness practice impacts the brain's functions and by extension, one's ability to make decisions, regulate emotions, and interact with others. This course will provide each student the opportunity to explore the basic tenets of mindfulness, experience different ways to focus attention and increase awareness, and develop her own unique daily mindfulness practice. Prerequisite: None





8328 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22102 |  703-556-8273 | admissions@madeira.org

The Madeira School is a top-ranked all-girls boarding and day school located on a beautiful 376-acre campus just 10 miles outside of Washington, DC.

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