Here is a description of the classes that are taught at the Alternative High School. Not all of these classes are taught during the same school year based upon the needs of the students:


College Placement ALGEBRA I: The fundamental purpose of this course is to formalize and extend the mathematics that students learned in the middle grades. Because it is built on the middle grades standards, this is a more ambitious version of Algebra I than has generally been offered. The critical areas, called units, deepen and extend understanding of linear and exponential relationships by contrasting them with each other and by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend. Students engage in methods for analyzing, solving, and using quadratic functions. Both the study of Descriptive Statistics and Probability are continued in this course.

College Placement GEOMETRY: This course in Euclidean Geometry is an inductive approach to developing theorems about plane figures, with an emphasis on parallelograms, triangles, and circles. Also included are area and volume problems By then end of this course a student must score a 70% on an Algebra 1 assessment as a prerequisite for Algebra 2. Students will be allowed multiple opportunities, as well as remediation, to improve their skills and knowledge of basic algebra concepts throughout the year in order to achieve the 70%.

College Placement ALGEBRA II: This course includes the following topics: equations and inequalities, graphing linear relations and functions, systems of linear equations and inequalities, matrices, polynomials, quadratic functions and inequalities, conic sections, polynomial functions, rational expressions, and exponential and logarithmic functions. Trigonometric functions are explored. Graphing calculators are used in graphing and matrices. Instructors will use an Algebra I Assessment for recommending students to this course. A grade of 70 on this assessment is necessary for instructor recommendation.

BUSINESS MATHEMATICS 510: Do you know how to balance your checkbook? Plan a budget? Invest and save money? Negotiate and figure your loan payments? Compute your total job benefits, overtime, Social Security, taxes, and fringe benefits? Buy a car? Buy insurance? Look for an apartment? Figure depreciation? Students will learn to figure percentages, discounts, and interest. Students will also learn consumer life skills and improved money management.

CAREER PREPARATION : Students will experience a curriculum of career pathways by identifying requirements of career interests and aptitudes. Students will develop job-seeking skills - completion of employment applications, resumes, and job shadowing experience - and will create a career portfolio to encompass the research and experiences obtained in this class. This course is a graduation requirement beginning with the Class of 2011.


Physical: An introductory course designed to allow students to explore the basic concepts of science. Students will be introduced to the history and nature of science. The course includes physics, chemistry, earth science, and astronomy.

Biology: Biology is the study of life. It includes an introduction to the scientific method, ecology, taxonomy, chemistry, evolution, and microbiology. Course work includes lab work and will prepare students for future science classes.

Chemistry: Chemistry is designed to help students understand chemical principles and problem-solving skills. Topics included basic science concepts, measurements, bonding, solutions, and acids & bases.


English 1 : This course is designed to meet the needs of all grade nine students, regardless of skill level. Differentiated learning helps to ensure that the needs of all students are met. Reading fluency, vocabulary development and writing skills will be addressed with the goal of improving literacy levels. Students read novels of their own choosing, class novels, and news stories. Writing assignments are designed to develop ideas and to communicate clearly in paragraphs and essays. Journals, posters, letters, and other projects will also be assigned.

English 2 : This course for tenth graders is a literature and writing class focused on a variety of written works including novels, plays, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. Different types of writing styles will be explored including argument and informational writing, journals, and creative writing projects including posters, book covers, and letters.

English 3 : This course focuses primarily on American literature. Vocabulary, grammar, and the essay process are also part of the curriculum. In addition to American literature, students will also read short stories and non-fiction, including current events. Writing assignments will focus on developing ideas and communicating them clearly in paragraphs, essays, journals, and letters, among other types.

English 4 : This course is an exposure to important literary works and themes from around the world. Students will read a variety of novels, plays, essays, and poetry. Students will also work on skills relevant to workplace writing, research, creating works-cited pages, and formatting. SAT preparation, vocabulary, grammar, and literacy development will also be included, as well as creative projects, such as posters, letters, and journals.


Modern World History : The Modern World History course covers the time period from the age of exploration through the fall of the Soviet Union in early 1990’s. The course will cover intellectual trends, revolutionary movements, social interactions, political ideologies, economic theories and geographical impacts. Students will focus on critical events, people and turning points during these centuries including the Age of Explorers, the Scientific Revolution, the Revolutionary Movement, imperialism and colonialism and the Industrial Revolution, among others.

Civics: Civics is a class designed to acquaint students with the origins, concepts, organizations and policies of the United States government and political system. We will analyze the formation, concepts and components of the US Constitution and investigate the idea of federalism and explain the role of states and the national government in America’s political evolution. Students will also be challenged with the Basic Civics Test that is drawn from sample questions using on the United States Customs & Immigration Services (USCIS) Civics Test.

U.S. History: United States History is a class designed to introduce students with the origins of political, cultural and economic development within the US. We explore the initial settlement of this nation by European powers as well as looking at major events in the country’s growth through the New Deal and World War II. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation for the social and economic systems within the US.

Psychology: Psychology focuses on the study of human behavior. It is an introduction to the field of psychology. This course includes major theories, terminology, psychological principles, and practical applications, as well as a look at the structure of the human nervous system using 3D printed models of neurons, synapses and the human brain.


Introduction to art- : This course emphasizes the study and practice of basic artistic skills and techniques. Creating, presenting, connecting, and responding to Art and Design are addressed with hands-on experiences in a broad-range of media: pencil, paint, ink, clay, digital, etc. Students will learn how to visually express themselves as they learn new skills.

Photography: Create art with computers and digital cameras. Students experience multiple media and applications. Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and iMovie are some applications utilized. A great opportunity to learn how to get the most out of your digital camera for personal, professional and educational use.

Ceramics: This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to ceramic studio techniques, as well as the opportunity to begin to appreciate the role pottery and ceramic art has played as a recorder of human history. Basic hand building techniques will be explored, as students work on studio projects that focus on coil, slab, and pinch methods of clay construction. Students will also have the opportunity to work on the potter wheel, as well as glaze and fire their completed projects.

Green IL: In this class we explore many environmental issues of the day with a focus on recycling, gardening and composting, and overall health and wellness of our planet and the humans and species who live there.

Yearbook: we learn skills in journalism as we publish our quarterly newsletter. Design layout, photography, interviewing skills, and research writing projects. This is the students opportunity to express their opinions and have their voices heard.

Drawing: This course is designed for the student with a strong interest in drawing and issues of design. Beginning and advanced students alike can benefit from this class as they further develop skills and techniques necessary for success in all areas of art.