Upper School Course Catalogue

Updated May 10, 2020


Math 6.  In math 6, students step into the world of algebraic concepts and reasoning. New mathematics skills are developed through games, puzzles and challenges in a supportive and collaborative environment. Concepts covered include patterns and variables, number theory, integers and irrational numbers, operations with fractions, ratios and proportions, percents, solving basic algebraic equations, solving and graphing, and data and graphs. We end the year with a project showing the real-world applications of math in a field of their choosing.

Pre-Algebra.  In pre-algebra, students build upon and strengthen skills learned in math 6 while being challenged by new algebra concepts. Concepts covered include solving and graphing algebraic equations, solving and graphing inequalities, linear and non-linear functions, and basic statistics and probability, with an emphasis on the "why" and "how" of math.

Algebra 1 is the foundational math for all higher math courses and a solids understanding in Algebra 1 is the key to the success in future math classes. Algebra 1 starts with a review of the foundations of mathematics: solving equations, fractions, percent, ratios, proportions and linear equations.  The second half of the course is focus primarily on linear and quadratic functions.  The content involves writing, solving, and graphing linear and quadratic equations, including systems of equations. The course also includes study of monomial and polynomial expressions, inequalities, exponents, functions, rational expressions, ratio, proportion, and Trigonometry ratios. Algebraic skills are applied in a wide variety of problem-solving situations and projects. Prerequisites: Passing Grade of C or better in  Pre-Algebra

Geometry. The primary goal of this course is to help students develop reasoning skills and problem solving strategies and apply algebraic concepts to geometric relationships. Students will study both Euclidean and Non-Euclidean, Geometry along with Analytic and Algebraic

Geometry.  Students will use the tools of geometry and perform group and individual investigations to learn the concepts. Topics covered in the course will include geometric

art, inductive and deductive reasoning, using tools of geometry, transformations,

Pythagorean Theorem, properties and relationships of lines, angles, triangles, polygons,

and circles, proportions and similarity, proofs, critical thinking skill, and problem solving

techniques to prepare for future math courses and college entrance exams. Algebra 1

skills will be reinforced and reviewed throughout this course. Students will use dynamic

software Geogebra to develop and reinforce geometric relationships taught.  

Prerequisites: Algebra 1 with a passing score of C or better.

Algebra 2. Algebra 2 provides a review and extension of the concepts taught in Algebra 1. Topics covered includes equations and inequalities, coordinates and graphs, general functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic function, trigonometric functions of angles and of real numbers, analytic trigonometry, systems of equations and inequalities, and sequences and series.  Throughout this course, students will develop learning strategies, critical thinking skill, and problem solving techniques to prepare for future math courses and college entrance exams.  

Prerequisites: Algebra 1 with a passing score of C or better.

Precalculus is a course covering advanced topics in mathematics so as to not only prepare students for the study of calculus through the introduction of new concepts but also to aid students in synthesizing what they have learned about algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Topics include: power, polynomial, and rational functions; exponential and logarithmic functions; trigonometric functions, identities and equations; systems of equations and matrices; advanced work with conic sections; parametric equations; vectors; polar coordinates; complex numbers; sequences and series; and an introduction to statistics.

Prerequisites: B- or above in Algebra 2 or FST, or teacher recommendation.

Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry (FST). FST is a mathematics course that builds upon topics covered in Algebra 2, it is geared towards those students who need additional reinforcement of Algebra 2 concepts before moving onto Pre-Calculus.  FST emphasizes functional expressions and forms, especially linear and quadratic forms, powers and roots, and functions based on these concepts.  Students study logarithmic, trigonometric, polynomial, circular and other special functions.  The course will also introduce statistical properties such as measures, probability, simulation and binomial and normal distributions. Additional exploration into advanced trigonometry functions and identities will be  included in this course.  Prerequisites: Passing Grade of C or better in Algebra 2.

AP Calculus course covers the equivalent of two (the AB option) or three (the BC option) quarter terms of college calculus. Students select either AB or BC based on their mathematical background, aptitude and determination. Calculus itself can be defined as the study of limits—the way different mathematical constructs behave in the theoretical regime
where parameters approach the infinitesimal and the infinite. Calculus is usually thought of in two divisions—differential calculus and integral calculus. The first concerns the slope of the tangent line to arbitrary functions. The second deals with the calculation of areas and
volumes bounded by arbitrary functions in both two- and three-dimensional space. The course also addresses the many applications of these ideas in science and engineering. Topics unique to the BC curriculum include infinite sequences and series, convergence, improper integrals, and the calculus of parametric, vector and polar functions.

Prerequisites: Passing Grade of C or better in Precalculus.

AP Statistics introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four conceptual themes: exploring data through the quantitative description of data patterns; sampling and experimentation through the planning and conducting of studies; anticipating patterns through the exploration of random phenomena using probability and simulation; statistical inference
through the estimation of population parameters.

Pre-requisites: Passing Grade of C or better in Precalculus; make take concurrently with precalculus or calculus with instructor approval.


Science 6.  Our Earth is constantly spinning, shaking, and erupting! Why is that important to our everyday lives? Students will learn why through projects, readings, videos and hands-on experience. Subjects include fossils, plate tectonics, the water cycle, erosion, weather, natural disasters, our solar system, and beyond! 

Life Science (Grade 7). This course investigates of the structure and function of organisms. We begin with cellular mechanisms, move on to comparing different organisms, and finish with interactions within ecosystems. There is a strong focus on cultivating laboratory

skills and communicating findings through graphs, writing, and presentations. Each

student will become proficient at utilizing a microscope and dissecting organisms to

test hypothesizes.

Physical Science (Grade 8). This course is an introduction to high school chemistry and physics  Our chemistry unit will focus on atoms and the periodic table, state changes, types of chemical reactions, and stoichiometry. During the physics unit will investigate forces, motion,

and gas laws. There is a strong focus on building laboratory skills and connecting

math and science through experiments. Each student will design experiments to test

hypotheses using of tools such as a Bunsen burner, acid-base indicators, and chemical reaction products.

Chemistry [Planned for 2020-21] This course was designed as a precursor to AP Chemistry, which is equivalent to a first-year college chemistry course.  In General Chemistry, scientific phenomena are explained at the atomic level.  This course will focus on the fundamentals of chemistry including matter, chemical reactions, the periodic table, solubility, acids/bases, thermodynamics, and electrochemistry.  Foundational skills in these areas will set students up for success in AP Chemistry and/or freshman college chemistry.

Physics is the study of matter, energy and their interactions. This class serves as an introduction to the three major branches of classical (pre-20th century) physics: mechanics, electromagnetism and waves/optics. Mechanics is the study of the forces and energies related to the motion of objects through space and time. Electromagnetism involves the electric and magnetic fields, electrical circuits, and the nature of light. Wave physics and optics both pertain to the propagation of energy via traveling vibrations. In the case of optics, the subject is the wave characteristics of light. The course also introduces students to the modern (20th and 21st century) concepts of gravity, relativity, quantum mechanics and particle physics. The presentation of physics relies heavily on mathematics and requires a thorough understanding of algebra.

Biology (Grades 9, 10, 11). This course will explore the many facets of biology with a focus on evolution, cellular processes, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions.Students will focus on investigating new ideas through laboratory work with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations. Investigations will require students to ask questions, make observations and predictions, design experiments, analyze data, and construct arguments in a collaborative setting, where they direct and monitor their progress.

Anatomy & Physiology (Grade 11-12). [proposed for 2020-2021] This course investigates the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. We focus on the different human body systems:Musculoskeletal, Endocrine, Cardiovascular, Nervous, Digestive, Lymphatic, Immune, Respiratory, Reproductive, Urinary, and Integumentary. There is a strong lab component with dissections. Prerequisite: a passing grade in Biology.

AP Biology (Grade 11-12). This is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes, energy and communication, genetics,

information transfer, ecology, and interactions. This course is focused on laboratory work with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations. Investigations require students to ask questions, make observations and predictions, design experiments, analyze data, and construct arguments in a collaborative setting, where they direct and monitor their progress. Labs topics include gel electrophoresis to compare DNA samples, use of restriction enzymes, bacterial transformation, enzymatic activity, fruit fly behavior, transpiration rates, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration. Prerequisite: a passing grade in Biology.

Environmental Science (Grade 11 or 12). [planned for 2020-2021] This course explores the interrelationships of the natural world with a specific emphasis on local environments. Topics include terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems, population density and biodiversity, sustainable production and ecological economics, climate change, pollution, and natural resource management. This class is predominantly lab and field studies based. Students engage in scientific inquiry by designing and conducting research projects. Students will learn how to analyze, evaluate, and debate choices concerning environmental issues.  

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry or instructor consent.

AP Chemistry (Grade 11 or 12) [planned for 2020-2021] is equivalent to a freshman level chemistry course in college.  The course requires extensive laboratory work, critical analysis of chemistry in the lab, and technical writing.  Major course topics include acid/base chemistry, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction, nuclear chemistry, and thermodynamics.  The course covers a wide range of information in a short time and will require students to complete work in the summer.  Students may earn college credit for their scores on the AP test, but will need to check with their future college of choice for specific requirements.   

AP Physics C (Grade 11 or 12). [proposed for 2021-2022] consists of two major areas of knowledge: Mechanics and Electromagnetism. The course is equivalent to two semesters of calculus-based, college-level physics and is especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. During the Mechanics component, students explore topics such as kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; and oscillations and gravitation.  The Electromagnetism component includes topics such as electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetic radiation. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.

World Languages


French 1A. Introduction to basic grammar, vocabulary, and Francophone cultures. Emphasis on reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students are expected to master making simple sentences and being able to write a short paragraph about day­to­day activities.

French 1B. More intense focus on grammar and more complex grammatical structures. Verb conjugation and learning new vocabulary highlighted. More complex investigations of Francophone culture. Continued emphasis on all four skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Students are expected to master more complex sentences and be able to write several paragraphs about day-­to-­day activities or more abstract considerations.

French 2. Review of grammatical structures presented in French 1 with additional complexity. Continued complex investigations of Francophone culture. Continued emphasis on verb conjugation, vocabulary ­building, and four skills. Students are expected to be able to write several paragraphs on various topics with minimal errors.

French 3. Advanced grammar, vocabulary and cultural investigations. Complex structures involving multiple verb tenses. Continued emphasis on verb conjugation, vocabulary­ building, and four skills. Introduction to literature, short novel or stories. Students are expected to be able to write several paragraphs where they analyze a text they have read in French.

French 4. Review of advanced grammar, more complex investigations of history and culture. Introduction to literature, full length novel. Continued emphasis on four skills. Students are expected to write several pages where they analyze literature, current events, or cultural comparisons.

AP French. Review of advanced grammar. Emphasis on history, culture and literature.

Continued emphasis on four skills. Investigation of several texts from various historical periods. Concentration on writing analytical essays, verbal presentations, and AP practice tests. Students are expected to be able to write a two-­to-­three page analytical essay with minimal errors.

Advanced French.  Advanced French is conceived as a class that precedes AP French, whose purpose is to provide opportunities to hone advanced grammar, listening, speaking, culture, and composition skills. In this class, we will focus on reviews of advanced grammar points (including verb tenses) as well as the consumption and analysis of authentic video and audio recordings. We will start to investigate the six themes that make up the parts of the AP test and study relevant vocabulary. The class will be conducted entirely in French. Finally, there will be a large writing component- students will write up to one essay per week, in addition to shorter assignments. A good, medium-sized French/English dictionary (such as Larousse or Le Robert) is required for this class. Most students take this class during their junior year of High School.


The Spanish program at Oak Hill uses a variety of materials and linguistic techniques to facilitate genuine interactions in the target language.

Spanish 1. This is a first year course designed for students with no previous study of Spanish.  By the end of the first year, students are able to use an elementary level of Spanish in daily life situations.  Students understand basic grammar and are able to read simple materials in the foreign language.

Spanish 2. Second year Spanish is a vital link to increased understanding and fluency.  Students continue to read and write in Spanish and they develop a better understanding of the Hispanic world.  

Spanish 3. Third Year Spanish class focuses on speaking, listening, and writing skills. Students read from cultural and literary texts which give a comprehensive review of grammar and the highlights of Hispanic culture.  After taking this course students who are highly competent in Spanish and are recommended by the teacher will advance to the Spanish 5 Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture class.  

Spanish 4. Fourth year Spanish students begin to feel at ease speaking in Spanish. Students read from a variety of materials and learn about the 21 Spanish-speaking countries in the world.  They write multi-paragraph essays and study detailed grammar concepts. This class is taught exclusively in Spanish.

Spanish 5 - AP Spanish Language and Culture. Students practice and polish their Spanish skills and prepare for the Advanced Placement exam offered in May. Students should be highly motivated, have excellent study habits, and have good grades in the language.  This course is intended to be the equivalent of a third-year college course in advanced Spanish composition and conversation.  

Spanish 6 - AP Spanish Literature and Culture. Students in this course delve into the selected literatures of Spain and  Latin America required by the AP College Board. The readings span from medieval to modern times, allowing students to examine the universality of literature, and make comparisons and connections through historical and contemporary cultural contexts. This class is the equivalent of an introductory college Hispanic Literature course.

Spanish Literature Class is an introduction to Spanish literature, covering the literary movements from medieval times to the XX century.  The first work of study is Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.  Upon concluding this classic novel, we will do a quick historical background of the different periods while analyzing novels, short stories, theatre and poetry.  Important components of the course are discussions, quizzes/exams, and essays in Spanish.

Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation, and/or a passing grade on the Spanish AP Literature and Culture Exam.


Chinese 1. is intended for students with no previous study of Chinese. Students will establish the foundation of Chinese by learning vocabulary and basic sentence structure with the goal of basic communication. Students will also learn pīnyīn, the Romanization of Chinese characters, in addition to beginning to learn how to write characters and understand how culture is at the foundation of the language. Chinese 1 uses the textbook Learn Chinese With Me, Volume 1 at the middle school level, and Integrated Chinese, Level 1 Part 1 at the high school level, in addition to  supplementary materials.

Chinese 2A. is intended for students who have had 1 year of Chinese language education or the equivalent. In Chinese 2A students continue to develop students’ burgeoning abilities to read and write, while also teaching them communication skills at a more advanced level. Students continue to examine the culture of China to discover where it is present in the language and how it can be conveyed through language. Chinese 2A uses the beginning of the textbook Learn Chinese With Me, Volume 2 in addition to supplemental materials.

Chinese 2B. continues develop students’ communication skills in Chinese, allowing them to discuss physical features around them and their feelings/opinions. Students at this level expand their use of Chinese characters in both reading and writing. Students also begin to discuss the culture of China and how it has impacted its history, comparing and contrasting with their home culture. Students at this level use the end of the textbook Learn Chinese With Me, Volume 2 and the begin working with the textbook Integrated Chinese, as well as other supplemental materials.

Chinese 3. Students in Chinese 3 move from building vocabulary and basic grammar to using those foundations to build basic skills related to their daily lives. Students at this level will learn how to express their needs, interact with a variety of people, and describe themselves in day to day scenarios. Students at this level are expected to write and read in Chinese characters, with pīnyīn as a supplemental stepping stone. Students at this level use the textbook Integrated Chinese, Level 1 Part 1 and Level 1 Part 2, in addition to other supplemental materials.

Chinese 4.  This class is intended for students with a minimum of 3 years experience learning the language and culture. Students at this level begin to use their analytical skills to determine the appropriate formality in different situations, as well as the communication skills to be successful in China. Students at this level begin to move from using Chinese at the sentence and phrase level to the larger discourse level, also learning actions and attitudes that are pragmatically appropriate for study/travel in China. Students at this level use the textbook Integrated Chinese, Level 1 Part 2 in addition to other supplemental materials.

Honors Chinese.  This course will continue to develop the skills and understanding that students have acquired in Chinese 1-4. Students at this level can be considered “on track” for AP Chinese and can take Honors as the precursor to AP Chinese, or as a standalone capstone at the end of their high school learning. Students will practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing using a variety of authentic materials including articles, radio programs, tv shows, newspapers, and more. Students at this level will use the book Integrated Chinese Level 2 Part 1 for this course as a guide to the themes and grammar, and will supplement this curriculum with outside materials.

AP Chinese is intended for students with a minimum of 4 years experience learning

Chinese and will take the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam in the spring. This

is the highest level of Chinese offered at Oak Hill School, and in this class students

engage authentic materials from a range of sources and for a range of purposes in

order to identify the means and mode of communication and the appropriate response. Students at this level put to practice their previous sociopragmatic and linguistic skills to respond appropriately to different situations, engage in real world experiences, and examine the language critically. Students at this level use a variety of materials.


English 6.  6th grade English is a course designed to improve students’ reading comprehension and literary analysis as well as written responses to literature, poetry, and nonfiction texts. Students read a variety of literary texts and engage in more complex discussion through the introduction of various literary devices. Students read texts in a variety of ways: whole-class novels and short stories, literature circles, and individual novels. As we progress through each text, students respond with narrative and creative writing assignments that incorporate essential grammar skills. Writing is completed in a workshop style format each class, where students progress through a variety narrative and expository genres.

English 7 uses a writing workshop and reading workshop model adapted from master teachers Nancie Atwell (the Center for Teaching and Learning) and Lucy Calkins (the eading & Writing Project). Students build on their personal interests to grow as readers and writers; they are given choice and independence within structured lessons and expectations. In daily writing workshops, students develop their own topics, write in several genres, confer with their teacher about drafts in progress, and celebrate their completed works with the class. In daily reading workshops, they choose books, read independently, and share information about their books. Students develop a portfolio of original poems, memoirs, and short fiction, as well as expository essays on conflict, character, and theme. They read books in several genres, including classics, historical fiction, science fiction/fantasy, and non-fiction. English 7 helps students to develop their love of learning and literature as well as their skills as readers and writers.

English 8. The purpose of this course is to give students valuable experience in the four modes of language communication: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  To that end the class will focus on the writing process, syntax, vocabulary skills, critical reading strategies, and literary analysis.  Literary texts will focus on the forces that affect—positively and negatively—an individual’s construction of identity.  The texts used will allow students to examine issues involving war, race, and society, among others from a variety of perspectives.

Written work will focus on the construction of clear and concise topic sentences, introductions, and conclusions as well as the correct use of supporting details and transitions and correct grammar usage.

Classics and Composition (Grade 9).  We’re working to develop critical reading and writing skills necessary for academic success. That involves an emphasis on annotation, pointing to the text to illustrate arguments, and a growing emphasis on developing an individual writing style. We’ll be working with significant works, developing an understanding of how authors generate meaning, and looking at the evolution of literature over time. We’ll be practicing timed writing in preparation for later exams (for instance, the APs or SATs). Students will also produce short (2-3 page), polished, multi-draft essays and two longer papers during this class. Grammar lessons will focus on correcting patterns of error discovered in student writing and the introduction of more complex forms.

Survey of Literary History (Grade 10). An overview of English Literature from the Anglo-Saxons to postmodernists.  The emphasis is on the more widely recognized writers, with attention paid to their cultural backgrounds.  Highly selective texts will be chosen from each major literary period.  Emphasis will be placed on the ways writers use language to criticize, justify, explore, analyze, satirize and/or subvert specific cultural concepts, tenets, and ideals of their time period.  The connections between this literature and our present historical, cultural, and personal situations will also be explored.

Dystopian Fiction (Grade 11 or 12). [Planned for 2020-21]  While emphasizing the hopefulness of utopian experiments both historic and contemporary (the Mars colony experiment), we’re reviewing classics of dystopian fiction such as 1984, Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale as well as engaging in independent reviews of young adult dystopian fiction. Analytical, reflective, and personal narrative essays form the majority of the written tasks for this course, supported by informal timed writing and dialectical journals.

Novels in Translation (Grades 10-12). [Planned for 2021-22] This course focuses on lauded, significant, or important fiction written in languages other than English. Additionally, students will grapple with translation: what it means to be a polyglot, the choices translators make and how that impacts the reader and our understanding of text, and how context impacts both the creation and understanding of literature. Students will write analytical, reflective and comparative essays supported by informal timed writing, dialectical journals, informal presentations, and will engage in active discussion.

AP Literature and Composition (Grade 11 or 12).  This course is designed to prepare you for the AP Literature and Composition exam, but this is not just a test prep course.  While we will discuss the structure of the exam and some techniques you might find helpful, the main focus will be on improving your critical reading and writing skills.  We will analyze poetry, prose, and drama.  You will be expected to engage each text in an in-depth manner in order to unravel not what a text means—but how a text means.  In other words, we are going to focus on how an author generates meaning within a text.  A simple skimming of the text for plot points will not be sufficient.  Upon completion of this course a student should be proficient in discussing literature of varied themes, historical contexts, and genres whether it be in an on-demand, timed writing prompt, an in-depth, scrutinized, and revised essay, or in class discussion.

Survey of American Literature (Grades 11-12, non AP). A survey of major historical periods in American Literature, beginning with the early native and colonial writings and moving through to the contemporary period, reading selected representative texts. Writing focus is on style analysis, literary analysis, and comparison of periods and authors. Students will also produce personal statements appropriate for college applications.

AP Language and Composition. [Planned for 2020-21] This course is designed to prepare you for the AP Language and Composition exam, but this is not just a test prep course.  While we will discuss the structure of the exam and some techniques you might find helpful, the main focus will be on improving your critical reading and writing skills.  You will read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of nonfiction prose, deepening appreciation of rhetoric and how language works.  Through close reading and frequent writing, you will develop your ability to work with language and text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy.  Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and historical contexts.  You will examine essays, letters, speeches, images, and imaginative literature.

Theater as Literature (Grades 10-12, non AP). [proposed for 2020-21]        

An introduction to world dramatic literature through study of the development of drama and its various genres, focusing on the cultural and literary contexts of individual works by diverse playwrights. Although class discussions may touch on such issues as staging and performance, the approach to the plays will be literary in nature. That is, we will apply the same kind of critical analysis to drama as we would to fiction and poetry by focusing on the way the playwrights use language to generate meaning.

Social Studies

History 6.  Students explore the ancient worlds of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, and Rome. Students are exposed to these lands through a study of their geography, varied inhabitants, cultural and religious beliefs, and contributions to our present world. Students learn note-taking techniques, summarizing and research skills, and apply writing skills learned in English to various activities centered on our curriculum. A large part of this course is project-based; students will complete both large and small projects with each unit.

History 7 - Geography. Seventh grade Geography focuses on developing an understanding of the world outside of Eugene. We will spend the year focused on different areas of the world through the lens of problem-based learning. We start by developing a vocabulary that will guide our conversation as we work our way around the world. With an emphasis on mapping, we will discuss the modern and historical aspects that have helped shape the world around us. Topics including:  religion, politics, topography, economics, social values, cultural values, arts and other important aspects that define human geography.

History 8 - US History. Eighth grade U.S. History will spend the year trying to answer essential questions that will lead the students to understand the significance of the United States of America. The class will cover the discovery of the New World through Civil War Reconstruction. The class will focus on the themes of geography, economics, government, foreign affairs and the individuals, both major and minor, who shaped the United States. We will dive into the core values of the Constitution, Western Expansion, and the events leading to the Civil War. Students will understand how decisions made in the past continue to influence the world they live in today.

AP Human Geography (Grades 9-10). [proposed for 2021-22] The AP Human Geography course is equivalent to an introductory college-level course in human geography.The course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine socio-economic organization and its environmental consequences.They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.The curriculum reflects the goals of the National Geography Standards. The non AP version of this course will cover similar topics but at a different pace that offers more accessibility of material and depth of topics.

Early Western Civilizations (Grades 9-12).  With a focus on culture, ideas, and enduring structures, this course introduces students to the idea of the West, both in a geographic and ideological sense. Starting with ancient Greece and moving through the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, the fragmentation of that Empire (and the creation of the Byzantine Empire), the dark and Middle Ages, through the Renaissance, students are exposed to philosophers, mythologies, enduring stories, and the patterns that have endured in Western Civilization. This class typically spans a period from 1200 BCE to roughly 1500 CE.

20th Century Global History (Grades 10-11). The study of the shortened 20th Century, from the outbreak of WWI to the end of the century (January 1, 2001), includes the impact of imperialism, improved communications, modern warfare and diplomacy, globalism, neoliberalism, the rise of populism, independence movements world wide, the Cold War and its proxy wars, and role of peace makers in negotiating our contemporary world. This course periodically asks students to take the long view--looking back through history to understand where and why the sides of an issue are drawn (for instance, understanding a bit about the Crusades helps make the Mandate System in the Middle East, as well as the current political situation, a little more comprehensible.)

AP World History (Grades 9-12).  The AP World History course presents a survey of the major patterns seen globally in the past. It eschews the simple memorization of isolated dates and events in favor of an approach that emphasizes the concept of process: both the process of historical change itself and the methodological process by which historians analyze evidence and thereby develop theories that help make sense of the world. This course focuses on the time period to 1200-the present.

Introduction to Psychology. [not currently scheduled] A survey of introductory topics such as learning, memory, sensation and perception, personality, physiological basis of behavior, stress and health, and  social psychology. Additional topics such as language development, states of consciousness, and psychotherapy may also be included.

Late Western Civilization. [planned for 2020-21] This course is a survey of European history from 1400 to the late 20th century. The course introduces students to the political (including diplomatic and military), cultural (including religious and artistic), intellectual, economic, and social developments that have played fundamental roles in shaping Western Civilization.

United States History: From Civil War to Civil Rights. [planned for 2020-21] A focused US History course covering the tremendous changes, both at home and abroad, in the century between the end of the Civil War and the signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act, including an examination of the far-reaching implications of the century.

AP American Government and Politics.[planned for 2020-21] While focused on the AP exam in May, this course focuses on American federalism, the structures created in our founding documents, and the accrual of practice and precedent that help to define our current political realities. A portion of the class will be devoted to comparative government, gaining a perspective on American politics through comparison with other world governments (both developed and developing nations.)

Civics and Civic Action Project. This course focuses on our current political realities in the United States: the structures that form government and the political practices that shape our current lives. Students will also be grappling with the idea of social justice, working to define and develop civic action projects to discuss and address issues of concern to them in our community (school, municipal, state, federal, global).

AP United States History. Aligned with the College Board course standards, this course prepares students for the AP exam in May, focusing on critical thinking about primary sources and a broad understanding of major themes in United States History.

Economics [not currently planned]This class is aimed at giving students a solid understanding of principles, systems, and activities integral to an economic system. In order to accomplish this students will focus on the concepts of production, consumption, distribution, and services in the United States – as well as compare these activities with those in other countries around the world. Students will also explore the impact of a variety of factors including geography, government structure, economic ideas from important philosophers, historic documents, societal values, scientific discoveries, and technological innovations on the national economy and economic policy.

The Madonna Decade: Pop Music and Society in the 80's NEW!! (semester class)

An examination through music of the decade that saw the advent of MTV and the end of The Cold War.  The decade when celebrity replaced art as the bearer of social significance.  Through oral presentation and written analysis we will explore how pop music informed and influenced the social trends and historical events and gave tone and feeling to one of the most maligned but also one of the most transformative decades in modern history.

Topic Studies:These semester-long area studies allow us a deep dive into a region or topic of current and enduring interest. Past studies have included The Arab Spring and Responses to Imperialism. While the next term’s course is still in development, the two most likely (one per semester) are World Religions (from a historical perspective) and The Making of the Modern Middle East.


Theatre Arts

Middle School Theatre Arts Elective.  Students will get a taste of the wonderful world of theatre arts through exploration, improvisation and structured play.  In a fun and safe atmosphere, the instructor serves as a private coach and helps each student gain self confidence, self discipline and communication skills needed on and off the stage. This course will include exercises in movement, character, stage combat, voice, active listening techniques and communication.  In addition, students learn to give constructive feedback as they evaluate fellow actors. Scripted scene work from respected playwrights will be introduced as an exploration of all aspects of the human condition.  Each class builds upon the other and the curriculum is based on individual needs and interests.

Theatre Fundamentals: Learn About the World Through Theatre Games (T/Th)

This class is designed to explore our world, it’s people, culture, history, religion and all aspects of life as we know it, through specialized theatre games. Another outcome will be increased self-confidence, hands on learning, improved communication, a greater understanding of how we behave, teamwork, creative problem solving, greater ability to concentrate, and the release of inner creativity.

This non performance class is taught in a safe environment, using the whole body and voice to learn through games and have fun.

High School Intensive Theatre Arts Elective (M/W/F).  This is a performance class that will produce a short studio production.  Most rehearsals will take place during class time until two weeks prior to opening.  An intimate performance space will be chosen based on the completion of the new theatre arts building. Past studio productions have included Hamlet, Masked, various evenings of scenes from well respected playwrights, The Council, An Evening of Shakespeare, A Simple Gift (performed in Thailand) among others.

Prerequisite:  At least one semester of Theatre Fundamentals Class or permission from the instructor is required.

Fine Arts

Middle School Visual Arts Elective: In this course students work on two dimensional projects exploring the elements and principles of art and design in drawings, paintings, colored pencil compositions, pastels, and etched glass. Three dimensional projects are created using clay, paper mache, glass, slumping methods, and plaster casting. The examination of line, shape, color theory, and perspective is investigated through historical and contemporary artworks as students appropriate techniques of noted artists, styles, and movements. Students render drawings with Ebony pencils to produce values and shading, and composite drawings challenge students to work on a group project capturing the 8 values of gray between black and white. Cultural symbolism is introduced through Scholastic Art and Artists in Residence. Students critique their works in an open discussion using a positive and productive evaluation process. Students critique of exhibitions at the Lane Community College Gallery as time allows. Each course provides new experiences with different media, and projects are not be repeated from term to term.


High School (M-W-F) Fine Arts: Studio 2-D and 3-D Fine Arts, Environmental Arts, Functional Arts

Students will be creating designated projects as they learn skills and techniques corresponding to each genre.  As in previous classes the elements of Art and Design will be incorporated within these artworks.

2-D projects with variable themes will consist of Drawings, Paintings (Watercolor and Acrylic), Printmaking, Collage, Montage and Mixed Media.

3-D projects will visually communicate art styles, cultures, and techniques within specific hand built clay sculptures and functional works.

(Students wishing to complete quality works toward a portfolio are encouraged to take this class.)


Art History (T-Th): Art History through Presentations, Research, and Project Based Learning

Diverse contemporary and historic works will be examined through videos, printed visuals, literature, research, and class discussions. Cultural and Artistic production through time will be analyzed and students will appropriate famous aesthetic styles, techniques, compositions, social-political movements, and architectural formulas as they use critical thinking skills to create personalized project resolutions reflecting these influences.


Oak Hill Jazz Ensemble. The Oak Hill Jazz Ensemble is designed to be challenging and performance driven. The group is visible throughout the community, with public performances as well as participation in jazz festivals. The Oak Hill Jazz Ensemble encompasses all instruments ranging from guitars, drums, wind instruments, strings, and vocalists. Time will be spent working on fundamentals for playing improvisational jazz-based music. Students will memorize relevant scales, arpeggios, chords, and melodic ideas to be used in a creative setting when playing together as a group. Working on playing different styles (swing, funk, latin, bossa nova, and blues feels) will also be a priority. Recording sessions throughout the year will also take place so a full album can be completed by the end of the year. An audition at the beginning of the school year will be required to join this ensemble.

HS Rock Bands. Through the study of music, Oak Hill music students develop critical listening skills, an understanding of the structure of all music, and an appreciation for music from a wide variety of cultures. Diverse musical styles are studied in order to prepare for performances throughout the term, including pop, rock, jazz, fusion, folk, and world musical styles. Specific skills are worked on with students to help them further their musical goals and improve their abilities on their instrument. Music history and general musical theory are applied to the studied material in addition to listening skills, improvisation/soloing, and applying these skills on stage. Recording sessions throughout the year will also take place so a full album can be completed by the end of the year. This will introduce students to music recording technologies and help get them started in that realm. Most importantly, the goal is to have fun and play good music while developing a strong sense of work ethic within a group setting.

Middle Rock Bands.  Through the study of music, Oak Hill music students develop critical listening skills, an understanding of the structure of all music, and an appreciation for music from a wide variety of cultures.  Diverse musical styles are studied in order to prepare for performances throughout the term, including pop, rock, jazz, blues, fusion, folk, and world musical styles. Specific skills are worked on with individual students to help them further their own musical goals and improve their abilities on their instrument.  Music history and general music theory are applied to the studied material in addition to listening skills, improvisation/soloing, and applying these skills on stage.  Most importantly, the goal is to have fun and play good music while developing a strong sense of work ethic within a band setting.  All instruments (beginning to advanced) are needed including singers, string players, wind instruments, etc.  

Electives (offered on a rotation)

Computer Science (High School). This course provides high school students with the opportunity to explore computer-related topics of interest to them. Each student will select a focus and develop a plan and goals for the semester. Students will work largely on their own, but will receive whatever support and resources they need. Students will be expected to make a presentation at the end of the semester, sharing their work with the class. Grades will be based on students’ progress toward meeting their goals, on their weekly blog entries, and on the final presentation.

Computers (Middle School). The Middle School Computer rotation is designed to help every student to begin to get comfortable with the basics of computer programming. Students can use a range of tutorials and applications - from Scratch to Code Academy and Code Combat to "Python the Hard Way" - to explore a variety of computer languages and concepts. New this year will be LEGOS Mindstorms robots - a fun way to learn the essentials of both programming and robotics.

Make 19.5 (Fall Semester)

An elective focusing on the  (woodworking) skills necessary to both design and build a major project.

Policy Debate (M/W/F in High School). This course will focus on policy debate, in which teams alternate between advocating and rejecting a national policy-prescriptive resolution. Students will learn the basics of debate theory, argumentation, and logic; practice public speaking and cross-examination techniques; conduct research on the topic area; construct and defend affirmative cases; and develop and deeply defend negative arguments. Students will also be introduced to various individual events (original oratory, extemporaneous speaking) and other forms of debate (Lincoln-Douglas, public forum, parliamentary procedure.) Students will participate in both local and out-of-town speech and debate tournaments throughout the year.

Yearbook (MWF in High School). This year will be the best ever! Students in this class learn about photography, consider the merits of submitted artwork, provide captions for pictures and learn about layout and computer-aided design. This is a fun, hands-on class with a final product everyone in the school can hold and appreciate. It holds the best memories of the year for everyone in our Oak Hill community. Please note: colleges look favorably on students who are involved in producing the school yearbook.          

Past Imperfect: History According to Film (T/Th in High School). [not planned] This class would examine a few historical events as told, retold, or mythologized through film. A few contenders: Braveheart, Amistad, Gladiator, Tora!Tora!Tora!, The Untouchables...there'd need to be parental permission of file for some of these.

ACT/SAT/TOEFL Test Prep (T/Th Fall in High School).  This elective will help students prepare for the SAT, ACT, and/or TOEFL tests, specifically on the writing and reading portions of the tests.

Comparative Religion (MWF Fall in High School).  In this elective, we will delve deep into some of the world’s major religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Daoism, in addition to any student-made suggestions. We will research and discuss their origins, philosophy, evolution, spread, and branches. We will discover how different religions affect culture and history, and the similarities and differences between them.

German (T/Th Spring in High School).  An introduction to German for interested students, focusing on basic, present tense conversation, German culture, and comparative grammar.

Hunger Games Ecology (Q1+Q2, Q3+Q4 in Middle School).  The class covers foodwebs; trophic levels; species interactions (predation, mutualism, parasitism, etc.); adaptation, mutation and traits; levels of life (organism, population, community, etc.), and Earth’s biomes.  Students would learn about these topics by doing a project-based learning unit in which they create a proposal via a visual model (using clay, paint, legos, video equipment, etc.) for a Hunger Games-style arena.

Life Skills (MWF Spring in High School).  This elective will teach you some real life life skills to take to college and beyond, including laundry, organization, basic cooking and nutrition (including how to cook in a dorm-approved water heater), self defense, basic sewing, budgeting, and other skills that you want to learn or didn’t know you needed to learn.         

Gender and Media. A guided look at how a variety of media shape and reinforce gender roles over time. This class will require a multimedia presentation, a media journal, and a written exploration of gender as a construct separate from biological sex characteristics. Respectful disagreement and exploration through discussion is a vital component of this class.

Gardening (Q1/Q4 in Middle School).  Year round gardening and sustainable living applications.  We will grow and eat foods appropriate for the time of year. In Eugene, it's possible to grow veggies year round. Fall: fall harvest and cool weather veggies in the garden. Around the campus, what blooms when everything else is going dormant? Why make a point of collecting the falling leaves?  Winter: dormancy, time to prune. Also on the agenda will be a consideration of what is  sustainable gardening for  both veggies and ornamentals.We will examine seed catalogues in order to purchase seeds for the spring and summer. Getting to know local recycling projects, visiting some recycling sites,

and giving input into what could be added to Oak Hill recycling efforts will all be on the agenda.  Spring: end of dormancy, time to plant. The different demands of veggies versus campus landscaping will be examined. The Plant Sale in May will be a major project.

There will also be the opportunity to create new plantings around the campus as well as  tend to some of those already in place. We will look at insects under a microscope and get to know what's happening below the surface. We'll also heat up the compost pile, wiggle with the worms,  and look at the interplay between  birds, insects, animals and plants. Pond life will be included.  Possible  trips to other gardens and related projects, especially  sustainable gardens, farm projects, and recycling centers in the Eugene/Springfield area are also a possibility.