Twelfth Grade at Calvary Day High School

Seniors at Calvary Day School are the student-leaders on campus. They shine in their last year of High School through numerous opportunities in academics, athletics, fine arts, and community service.

Seniors participate in a rising senior orientation in preparation for their last year at Calvary Day School. They also meet with Mrs. Mell, the Guidance Counselor, along with their parents, to discuss college applications, visits, financial aid, and scholarships. They are encouraged to visit colleges and are given two excused absences for that specific purpose. Seniors are regularly notified of their early acceptance to choice colleges and universities throughout the country, and that lends an air of celebration to the school year. However, senior classes are still among the most rigorous on campus, further preparing our students for success at the next level.

A number of special privileges are available to seniors at Calvary, such as special off-campus lunches and ice skating at the Savannah Civic Center in December. Seniors are often the student-leaders of Spiritual Emphasis Week and Homecoming, and they routinely act as mentors to new students and underclassmen.

Each spring, seniors participate in a Senior Professional Experience–a truly unique opportunity for students. For a week, students shadow a professional in a field of their choice. This allows seniors at Calvary a firsthand glimpse into potential careers after college. Seniors also get the elective offerings of a personal finance course and a medical magnet course, which Calvary teaches through a partnership with Memorial University Hospital. These course offerings allow our students to enter the next phase of their lives fully prepared to handle a wide scope of future careers.

Our seniors are poised to spread their wings and fly, and we are more than blessed to provide them with a launchpad.

British Literature and Composition 12 (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. 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. English 12 presents a survey of the British literary tradition beginning with the Anglo-Saxons and culminating with the modern period. Students study literature such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Macbeth (college prep), Grendel (honors), and Hamlet (honors). Graduating students are competent and effective communicators who are capable of competing and achieving success in the collegiate environment.

AP Literature and Composition*

*Description © 2010 The College Board
The AP English Literature and Composition course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. Calvary Day School’s students study literature such as Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Road, Frankenstein, The Natural, The Namesake, and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Honors Precalculus

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.

Calculus (offered at the honors and AP level)

Calculus students study the derivative and the integral, limits, sequences and series, and the applications of those topics. Students in calculus 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.

Advanced Algebra/Statistics

Advanced Algebra/Statistics presents traditional algebra topics with emphasis on real-world applications. This course prepares students for more advanced mathematics courses offered in college. Reasoning and critical thinking skills are developed as well as the student’s ability to think mathematically in life.

U.S. Government (also offered at the honors level) (semester course)

U.S. Government provides students with a conceptual basis for understanding the need, development, functions, and powers of government institutions and traditions. This course begins with the most primitive of organizations and builds toward a study of the United States government and the Constitution. Students study in-depth the development of government institutions from historical, philosophical, religious, and economic perspectives. Students are exposed to the classical debates of state responsibility and individual rights, divine right of kings, corruption by power, moral imperative, as well as the competing interests of capitalism, socialism, and communism in the context of their origins and conflicts, especially in the 20th century.

AP U.S. Government (semester course)

AP U.S. Government focuses on the structure of government and political institutions in the United States. Contemporary debates over the nature of these institutions are discussed and placed in historical context. Students learn about the development of the Constitution, discuss the political ideas that shaped the views of the Founding Fathers, and they analyze the debates about these same ideas in today’s political forums. Students explore the changing nature of citizenship and learn how and why citizens participate in their government. They learn about the role played by the media, political parties, and interest groups in the political process. Students use this knowledge to analyze the varied steps in the development of public policy. Harold Lasswell’s definition of politics – “who gets what, when and how” is used to help students to understand the dynamic nature of political decisions.

Students take the Advanced Placement United States Government exam in May. To prepare for the exam, students are expected to complete a substantial amount of external reading and preparation for class. College level work and attitude on each and every assignment and in class is the expectation. Students write extensively for their homework assignments and class quizzes/tests. Frequent feedback and analysis of written assignments is used to improve students’ analytical and writing skills.

Economics (also offered at the honors level) (semester course)

Economics instructs students in basic economic principles and concepts. These ideas include topics like the force of supply and demand as well as the application of choice and scarcity made by individuals, firms, and governments. Emphasis is placed on microeconomic concepts supplemented by analysis of fiscal policy, monetary systems, banking, and the Federal Reserve. By learning the fundamental lessons of economics, students are able to apply these lessons to their own lives and to current events in the economy.

AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry covers topics typically found in a first-year introductory college chemistry course, and it advances the students’ 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.

AP Biology

The AP Biology course is designed to offer students a solid foundation in introductory college-level biology.  The course is structured around four Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Science Practices.  Through this framework, students will develop an appreciation for the study of life and will identify and understand unifying principles within a diversified biological world.  Biology is a result of inquiry.  Therefore, the process of inquiry in science and developing critical thinking skills is the most important part of this course.  At the end of the course, students will have an awareness of the integration of other sciences in the study of biology, understand how the species to which we belong is similar to, yet different from, other species, and be knowledgeable and responsible citizens in understanding biological issues that could potentially impact their lives.


Statistics can be described as the mathematics of uncertainty.  How does one quantify, describe and ultimately make decisions based on differing and varying data?  That is the practice of statistics.  This course, while not being difficult from a traditional mathematical technique standpoint, finds its difficulty in the critical thinking and problem solving realm.  Students will indeed learn how to quantify and describe data, but more importantly will learn how to interpret it and make sense of it to others.  Students will furthermore learn how to make decisions with data and what the limitations to those decisions are.


The physics course 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.

Honors Medical Magnet Program (Advanced Scientific Research)

The Medical Magnet program emphasizes the understanding of the medical field and its professions by teaching students the language of medicine. Only 12 students are accepted into this program each year, and students are chosen based on their application interview, question review, teacher recommendations, and grades. The course teaches medical terminology by studying each system of the human body, exploring its structure and function, and learning the specialists, pathologies, diagnostics, and treatment procedures related to each system. This course provides students with opportunities to explore health care professions by completing clinical rotations at various health care facilities.

Life of Jesus and the Theology of the Church 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 first nine weeks of Life of Jesus and the Theology of the Church is a survey and study of the teachings and life of Jesus, as well as the teachings of the Old Testament prophets. Particular interest is given to how the teachings of Jesus and the prophets impact each person’s life on an individual basis and what they mean for the world and for others. The second nine weeks is an introduction to Christian theology – its history and practical applications. Particular interest is given to the major ideas and people that have helped shape Christian theology from all strands in the Christian tradition.

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.


Honors French IV or Honors Spanish IV

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 may read short stories, novellas, and essays in either French or Spanish. 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 of our nation and the world we share.

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 at Calvary Day School 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 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.