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High school students grow significantly as writers, readers, and researchers as they progress from ninth grade to twelfth grade. They continue to develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually as well as strive to express their individuality and achieve greater independence. Mastery of English language arts skills at the high school level, along with skills and knowledge gained from other content areas, enables students to transition successfully from high school to postsecondary education or to the working world.
The educational program of all Alabama high school students includes a comprehensive curriculum of essential social studies content that prepares students to be knowledgeable, responsible citizens capable of applying social studies knowledge and skills in their daily lives.The emphases of the Grades 10-12 social studies program are civic competence and participation and economic, geographic, and historical awareness. Careful consideration has been taken to align the social studies content at the high school level with standards addressed by national social studies organizations.
As the range of career choices for students broadens, the mathematics program in Grades 9-12 must be both rigorous and comprehensive to provide students with the mathematical power necessary to meet the needs of these careers.Whether planning to pursue postsecondary education or to enter the workforce, all Alabama students must earn four credits in mathematics, including Algebra I and Geometry.Students are encouraged to go beyond basic requirements, enrolling in courses above the level of Geometry with the goal of reaching their maximum potential.
While the high school curriculum is essential preparation for postsecondary study for many students, it is the last formal instructional experience for others. To enable all students to become scientifically literate, the science curriculum in Grades 9-12 provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary for the twenty-first century. Therefore, the Alabama Course of Study: Science offers the following cores:Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.It also defines elective cores in the more specialized areas of Earth and Space Science, Environmental Science, and Human Anatomy and Physiology.Each core specifies the minimum required content students must achieve in order to receive credit toward graduation.
Agriscience Education places a new emphasis on the integration of academics into existing agriculture/agriscience curricula, especially in the areas of science and mathematics. As a result of this emphasis, new programs are included in the Agriscience Education curriculum. This new direction serves two major purposes: (1) to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to enter and advance in agricultural careers and (2) to enable students to function as informed citizens in today's society.
Visual Arts instruction in Grades 9-12 should be based on the foundation developed in the program in Grades K-8. The Visual Arts program will continue to develop knowledge, skills, and perceptions in relation to the basic content standards of History, Criticism, Aesthetics, and Production. The Visual Arts sequence should address these broad content areas with increasing levels of complexity and individualization.
The content of the high school instrumental music curriculum builds upon fundamental skills acquired in the middle school program. Students recognize the characteristic sounds of various instruments and demonstrate technical expertise in the playing of these instruments. They are able to effortlessly read music, including its signs and symbols. In addition, they are becoming familiar with composers and works of standard instrumental literature.
The objective of Alabama Business/Marketing Education is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for economic success in the twenty-first century. This dynamic and challenging program prepares students for the accelerated changes taking place in the competitive business world. As students gain knowledge and professional experiences, they develop skills essential for success and build a strong foundation that enables them to become productive workers and citizens.
Vocal, Choral Music is the process of emoting sound through song using proper technique to express thought and emotion. The Vocal, Choral Music program in Grades 6-12 provides an opportunity for elective courses designed to develop musical skills and knowledge through the use of the singing voice. The content standards for these courses are set fourth in this framework. Any course based on the content standards in the Vocal, Choral Music program in Grades 9-12 will fulfill the arts education requirement for high school graduation.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Family and Consumer Sciences Education addresses challenges faced by individuals and families in the home, school, work place, and community. Individuals need to develop abilities to think, communicate, manage, and lead in order to address the issues of a changing, technological, diverse, and global society. Rigorous content standards have been written to require the use of these skills in addressing concerns and problems of individuals and families. The National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education was used extensively to determine the content for the Family Life and Career Connections Programs. Family and Consumer Sciences is offered at all middle and high schools in Shelby County.
The high school level Theatre course is designed for students who have mastered basic theatre skills and concepts. Students enrolled in this course depend upon peers for social interaction and acceptance, and to a degree, success. The classroom environment promotes social interaction through the theatrical production process. Students are required to work cooperatively in a group setting, yet are able to maintain their independence and identity throughout the process. Possession of a solid theatre background, maturity, dependability, analytical skills, self-discipline, self-motivation, and focus are characteristics of successful Level IV theatre students.
Lifelong Individualized Fitness Education (LIFE)
The goal of the LIFE course is for students to make physical activity a part of their lives beyond high school.The focus of the required high school physical education course is health-enhancing activity.LIFE provides a blueprint for a lifetime of healthy living.Through the LIFE course, students learn to apply various aspects of fitness and to assess their own fitness levels.Students are required to develop and maintain an individual level of fitness that forms the foundation for a healthy future.
Driver and Traffic Safety Education addresses the third approach by providing the minimum required content to be taught in the Driver and Traffic Safety Education course. The broad goals and content standards within this document may be expanded by local education agencies to reflect local philosophies, strategies, and resources. While the document reflects and incorporates current research in driver and traffic safety education, changes in national and state laws, together with the advent of new equipment and technology, may necessitate the inclusion of additional content standards.
The focus of the Health Education course in Grades 9-12 is to provide students with further opportunities to apply health-related knowledge to personal life. The maturation of the student, the intensity of instruction, and the level of integration across the high school curriculum influences the impact of this course.
Foreign Languages curriculum provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge and understanding of cultures other than their own and to acquire the ability to communicate in other languages. Knowledge and use of expressive and receptive language and an in-depth study of the target culture and its relationship to other cultures are essential components of language study. The learning of other languages extends beyond the classroom and empowers students to participate, communicate, and function in today's ever-changing global community and marketplace.
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