Junior year has long been heralded as the “the year that matters most,” and Calvary Day School juniors take that to heart. Academics are of utmost importance, and many juniors with good grades who excel on the playing field receive well-deserved attention from college recruiters.
Juniors comprise the prom committee, and each year they wow the senior class and chaperones with an inventive theme and dazzling decorations. This camaraderie is key to the family atmosphere at Calvary, and even though there is fierce competition between the juniors and seniors, a Christian attitude of good sportsmanship pervades the atmosphere.
Academically, juniors take the SAT and ACT to prepare for college and meet with the Guidance Counselor to discuss scholarship opportunities, placement, their class schedule for the remainder of High School, and how to make the final two years of High School count the most in order to gain admittance into their universities of choice. They also participate in roundtable meetings in February which are composed of the Guidance Counselor and a small group of students. During these meetings, students are encouraged to develop a list of seven schools that they are interested in exploring. They also learn more about scholarships, how to write a great college admissions essay, and what to expect when making college visits. Students take the Stanford 10 achievement test in the spring as well as the ASVAB interest inventory. The eleventh grade curriculum includes multiple AP classes for students to choose from, and a host of other challenges. Junior class schedules allow students to set personal goals that match their aspirations for collegiate learning.
Life is busy for a junior at Calvary, but between community service, varsity sports, rigorous academics, and college visits, there is still time to grow spiritually and form bonds that will last a lifetime.
American Literature and Composition 11 (also offered at the honors level)
The High School English Department at Calvary Day School fosters critical thinking and effective communication through appreciation for literature. Students continually read and analyze works of poetry, short stories, novels, essays, and drama from various literary periods. Grammatical lessons and vocabulary building activities are also ongoing components of each grade. Students develop sound oral communication skills through lively class discussions and assigned presentations. Written communication skills are honed through critical analysis of texts, major research assignments, persuasive essays, creative writing, and journal writing. American Literature is an eleventh grade survey course that begins with the first, true American writers and follows history through the Puritan settlements, the Democratic and Revolutionary time period, the Romantic period, a New Renaissance, major poets, Transcendentalists, the Harlem Renaissance, and finally, Modern and Contemporary writers. Major focuses during this course include SAT and ACT preparation, vocabulary proficiency, in-depth research projects, novel studies, and an integration of technology and writing. Some of the works of literature that students in this course read are The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, and The Jungle (honors).
AP Language and Composition*
*Description © 2010 The College Board
The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Calvary Day School AP Language and Composition students read literature such as The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, and The Jungle.
U.S. History (also offered at the honors level)
In United States History, students explore the political, economic, and social history of the United States from the Reconstruction period to the end of the Cold War. They learn how to conduct historical research by writing two research papers. They also learn how to analyze historical arguments, using primary and secondary sources. Students gain knowledge that will help them to be educated citizens who understand and participate in the democratic process and who preserve the country’s core ideals, namely freedom and democracy.
AP U.S. History
AP U.S. History explores the major themes in the formation and growth of the United States from the settling of the American continent to the present. Students gain a greater understanding of United States history, learning about both individuals and events. They learn how to make connections between historical time periods, recognizing continuities and discontinuities, and develop an informed perspective on contemporary issues affecting society. In this course, students learn how historians use primary sources and construct historical arguments, and they apply this knowledge in their own analysis and writing, learning to think like historians. Students taking AP U.S. History integrate knowledge from a wide variety of sources, and they learn to understand and respect other points of view. They strengthen their analytical reading and writing skills, develop their ability to present ideas and participate in debates and discussions, present their own ideas and discuss historical arguments found in reading assignments, and write responses to college level essay questions throughout the year. By May, students are well prepared to take the AP U.S. History exam.
Algebra II continues to develop student facility with algebraic expressions and forms, especially linear and quadratic forms, powers and roots, and functions based on these concepts. Students study logarithmic, trigonometric, and polynomial functions along with other special functions as tools for modeling real-world situations. This course applies and enhances previously learned geometrical ideas, including transformations and measurement formulas.
Honors Precalculus is an integrated course that emphasizes the understanding of topics in functions, statistics, and trigonometry while applying algebra and geometry skills learned in previous courses. Students study functions and function operations, trigonometry, graphing and transformations, matrices, and sequences and series. Students in precalculus make connections from this course to mathematics, to other disciplines, and to the real world. Students learn how each mathematical idea fits into a larger context. State-of-the-art technology enhances mathematical understanding and strengthens problem-solving skills. Applications using calculators, graphic calculators, and computers are incorporated to allow students to explore and to extend their knowledge. Students learn to use mathematics effectively through problem-solving experiences that include the use of higher-order thinking skills in daily assignments, a wide variety of problem types, and open-ended problems.
The goal of both courses is to make connections from precalculus and calculus to other areas of mathematics, to other disciplines, and to the real world. Students learn how each mathematical idea fits into a larger context. State-of-the-art technology enhances mathematical understanding and strengthens problem-solving skills. Applications using calculators, graphic calculators, and computers are incorporated to allow students to explore and extend their knowledge. Students learn to use mathematics effectively through problem-solving experiences that include the use of higher-order thinking skills in daily assignments, a wide variety of problem types, and open-ended problems.
Chemistry students conduct a thorough study of matter, the changes that matter undergoes, and the relationship between matter and energy. In order to ensure student comprehension of chemistry’s various concepts, students perform laboratory work in addition to completing traditional textbook assignments. Topics of exploration for this course include atomic structure; bonding and formation of chemical compounds; writing and balancing chemical equations; solids, liquids, and gases; phase changes; solutions; acids, bases, and salts; equilibrium; kinetics and thermodynamics; oxidation-reduction; nuclear chemistry; and organic chemistry.
AP Chemistry covers topics typically found in a first-year introductory college chemistry course, and it advances the student’s understanding of concepts normally covered in High School chemistry. It provides a solid preparation for the AP Chemistry exam. Major course themes include relationships in the periodic table, atomic theory, chemical bonding, phases of matter and solutions, equilibria, reaction kinetics, organic chemistry, and thermodynamics.
Honors Physics provides students with strong conceptual coverage of traditional and modern physics topics. Students gain an understanding of the fundamental physical laws of mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and optics. This course instructs in the proper use of scientific instruments, such as balances, calipers, and ohmmeters. The knowledge that students attain from lectures concerning this equipment and scientific concepts has a practical use in this course’s regular laboratory experiments. Upon completion of the physics course, students are able to make informed decisions regarding science and technology, to prepare for advanced coursework in science, and to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the principles that govern the world in which they live.
Comparative Religion or Exploring God’s Word
High School Bible courses at Calvary Day School are designed to help students think, act, speak, and live in conformity with the standards and expectations of our Creator. Students are taught truths and principles from God’s Word and are encouraged to develop a relationship with God. In an effort to help students to discover the abundant life that God promises, classes emphasize the practical application of biblical principles to daily life. In addition to participation in traditional lectures and discussions, students create biblical timelines, write reader-response journal entries, watch films that enhance class materials, and display the results of pertinent research in oral presentations. Students also serve the community through a community service project for 10 hours during each of the nine weeks that they are in this course. Through constant exposure to a Christian worldview, students are enabled to emerge from Calvary as positive, godly individuals who minister to the world around them.
The purpose of Comparative Religion is to explore the truths of the Christian faith, to reaffirm the evidence supporting Christian beliefs, and to understand the beliefs of other religions and philosophies so that students may communicate the truths of Christianity more effectively.
Exploring God’s Word is more free-form in the sense that students study books of the Bible and books about subjects in the Bible which are of particular interest to the teacher and the students. The purpose of this course, as in all other Bible courses, is to explore the truths of the Christian faith and to see the application of those truths to the questions and problems that the students will face throughout their lives.
Health (semester course)
Health is geared to educate students on improving and maintaining their overall health through identifying and investigating their social, mental, and spiritual health. Students study the body systems, exercise, nutrition, mental health, personal safety, first aid, preventing diseases, avoiding drug abuse, and pursuing right relationships. The class is designed to include a lot of class discussion and uses different teaching strategies to challenge the students. Students should be able to apply the things they have learned weeks, months, and years after taking the class.
French III or Spanish III (also offered at the honors level)
The foreign language courses offered at Calvary Day School are designed to enable mastery of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in either Spanish or French. Students in advanced courses read short stories, novellas, and essays in either French or Spanish. Likewise, language skills are taught through dialogue between teachers and students as well as through a deliberate storytelling method that simulates the way we learn our native language. The foreign language department enmeshes cultural lessons with grammatical ones. Students are instructed in the histories and cultures of the countries within their language’s regions. At Calvary Day School, learning is never limited to the pages of a textbook, and this truth extends to Spanish and French classes. Students participate in authentic dinners with regional foods, listen to popular musicians, explore current newspapers, and watch films that are pertinent to the language and its cultures. The linguistic and foreign cultural knowledge offered in French and Spanish classes at Calvary Day School only improve students’ perspectives of themselves as global citizens.
Psychology (year elective)
The psychology course is designed to give students a better understanding of the body’s mental processes. This knowledge empowers students with problem-solving skills that ensure their adjustment to life’s situations. The psychology course emphasizes the understanding of such topics as personality development, motivation, learning, emotions, growth and development, legal issues, the leading theorists of the field, mental illness, and social behavior. Students learn through note taking during classroom discussions and lectures, as well as by completing supplementary worksheets that complement assigned tests, essays, and classroom work. Students frequently conduct research on pertinent articles and prepare oral presentations on specific psychological topics. Outside speakers, documentaries, and films further enhance the discussion of various psychological subjects.
Physical Education (semester elective)
Physical Education (P.E.) for grades 9-12 is designed to develop each student into a well-adjusted individual who will be able to live a satisfying and active life. Through participation in physical activities with their peers, students learn to lead as well as to function as a team member. As students contribute to each physical activity, positive self-expression and self-confidence emerge. Coursework informs students of the dangers associated with neglecting fitness and encourages them to strive for physical excellence at levels appropriate to their abilities. By working together to achieve physical goals, students improve their social bonds, emotional health, intellect, and spirit and have fun while doing so. P.E. teaches students tolerance of individual personalities through teamwork, and students gain self-esteem and an appreciation for an active lifestyle through the accomplishment of individual goals.
Weight Training (semester elective)
Weight Training focuses on developing strength, power, flexibility, work ethic, integrity, and overall fitness. Students design their own individualized workouts based on the results of their fitness and strength testing. The program includes the use of free weights, kettle bells, medicine balls, and plyometric and cardiovascular training.
Calvary Singers (year or semester elective)
The Calvary Singers elective course builds upon foundational music skills previously acquired through the Middle School Song and Stage program. Students further develop proper vocal technique in order to become a group of blended musicians that perform on a competitive level. Singing is done alone or with others, and the course includes a varied repertoire of music. Our choral literature offers traditional choral pieces, spirituals, lullabies, folk, jazz, pop, and gospel songs, as well as various period pieces from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and twentieth-century periods. In addition to learning to read and notate music, students develop criteria for making informed, critical evaluations of performances. Solo or ensemble opportunities include performing at the weekly chapel, clubs, nursing homes, sporting events, and other special events at school. Students may also participate in the Southeastern Choral Arts Festival, the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) Festivals, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Literary Meet, as well as the Fall Variety Show, the Christmas Concert, and the Spring Musical held on campus. Students in Calvary Singers work effectively as responsible team members, which enables them to become positive leaders in the group and in life.
Band (year elective)
The band courses at Calvary Day School aim to enrich students’ lives through the study of music, instrumental performance, music history, theory, and culture. Students learn to respond appropriately to conducting techniques, to participate effectively as a member of performing ensembles, to read and sight-read music, as well as to evaluate and critique music performed by the ensemble. The band courses also provide students with necessary music vocabulary and instruction about composers of selected musical repertoire. In addition to learning how to perform a piece, students also learn the historical and cultural context.
Famous Artists (semester elective)
Each week, a famous artist will be the focal point. Students will create artwork that demonstrates this artist’s particular style. We will study such artists as Mary Cassatt, Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci, Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh.
Elements & Principles of Design (semester elective)
Students in Elements & Principles of Design will learn about the elements and principles of design that artists use as their “tools” to create successful pieces of art. With each one discussed, we will create pieces of art that demonstrate how the elements and principles are used.
Fibers/Paper/Ceramics (semester elective)
This course takes a look into some of the “other” art forms that use various media such as cloth, paper, and clay. We will learn the art of making paper and the many ways to use paper to create art. We will also learn some of the techniques of book making. The art of weaving, using various fibers and other media, will also be experienced. We will also learn various techniques used in working with clay, like coil and slab building.
Community Art (semester elective)
This course focuses on many aspects of community art, also known as “Dialogical art” or “Community-based art.” Students will brainstorm ideas for projects that we can do around our school community to help beautify our school, such as murals or other art beautification projects. We will also work with various groups around Savannah to coordinate community projects such as the children’s unit at Memorial. We will also work with various nursing home facilities to find ways to cheer up and beautify the lives of their residents. Our goal in this class is to make our community a better place for everyone.
Drama (year or semester elective)
Drama explores various aspects of theatre, from the artistic to the technical, with primary emphasis on acting. Activities include improvisation, monologue and dialogue scene work, silent stories (pantomime), script and character analysis, artistic design (including sets, lighting, props, and costuming), among others. During the year, there are performance events in which students participate. Even for those who do not envision themselves on stage, this course yields benefits in terms of public speaking, confidence for class presentations, and later on in the workplace. And let’s face it… it’s some of the most fun that students could be allowed to have between 8:30 and 3:00!
Written Communication (Yearbook) (year elective)
Students in Written Communication produce Calvary’s award-winning yearbook, Beacon. Acceptance into the course is competitive, and students must apply during the previous spring to be accepted. To apply for enrollment in the course, students must fill out an application, submit a full yearbook page layout, go through an interview process, and receive a teacher recommendation. Only 12-15 students are accepted into this course each year. Students who are chosen to be in the course produce a very high-quality yearbook, as is evidenced by the honors the yearbook receives. Beacon Awards
Journalism (year elective)
Students in Journalism learn multiple skills used in journalism professions such as: First Amendment law, court cases that have affected student journalism, journalistic ethics, interviewing, feature writing, news writing, editing, and photojournalism. These students also produce Calvary’s quarterly online magazine, VISION. The students do all writing, photography, and design of the magazine.
Newspaper and Journalism Elements (year elective)
Newspaper and Journalism Elements is designed to give students a basic understanding of journalism and newspaper writing techniques. Students write, edit, and layout four issues of the school newspaper, both in print and in an online version as well as submit various news articles to local community newspapers. Students in this course do all the work for publication of each issue of the paper. They develop their writing abilities and editing skills by creating several articles for the school paper, and they also develop skills in photography and comic drawing. The course also requires some after-school deadlines as well as some out-of-school time for news coverage.
Personal Finance (year elective)
In Personal Finance, students study Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance (High School Edition). The class is offered to juniors and seniors and is designed to teach students how to manage their money. By learning this skill, students will hopefully avoid making bad money choices now and in the future. Some of the things that students learn are: 1) how to save money, invest, and build wealth 2) how to write and follow a budget 3) how to set and achieve personal goals 4) how to give to others of your money, time and talents and 5) how to make informed and responsible financial decisions.