Options

2 periods/week (Some are semester courses, others run for a year)

The Options program aims to broaden a student's educational experience by giving her the opportunity to learn a variety of new skills, including pratical ones, and so encourage a love of learning. Many Options courses also develop group skills and cooperative learning, and many encourage the creative use of the imagination.

Students are required to choose two of the semester courses or one of the year courses. These mini-courses are offered twice a week and are worth a ½ credit for the two semesters.

Active Option

One Semester - ¼ Credit

Is “Mens sana in corpore sano” your mantra? If so, Active Options is just for you. In this course students will participate in a variety of sports and recreational physical activities. Just the way to escape from the fray of academia for a while!

Debate

One Semester - ¼ Credit (G9 and G10 only, Semester 1 only)

Debate Option class explores far-ranging morally compelling contemporary topics that challenge our reasoning skills and foster stronger skills and techniques. We debate in teams and run class-based debate sessions throughout the semester. We study experts and watch online debates in order to gain greater insight into reasoning skills and debate tactics. Simply stated, we enjoy lively debates of relevant topics facing our world today. Minimum 6 students.

Film Making

One Semester - ¼ Credit

In this option, students create a video that will be presented to an audience using various available equipment. A project is created and planned; filming can be done in and around the campus; a final cut is edited and sound and special effects are added as needed for the final project. The students have the chance to learn and practice filming techniques and operation of video editing equipment, including an introduction to the 'green screen'. Final video projects can have the aim to submit to an external film contest or to be used for a different internal purpose.

The class size is limited to 10 students.

First Aid

One Semester - ¼ Credit (Semester 2 only)

This course will enable students to acquire First Aid skills or further develop techniques and knowledge learned in previous First Aid courses offered in Middle School.  Students will be certified or re-certified in the latest American Red Cross First Aid course which was revised in 2016.  These students will assist the First Aid Action team during emergency evacuations.  In addition, we will discuss and explore preventive measures to health problems such as Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, Asthma Attack and Head, Neck and Spinal injuries.  Simple cooking classes may be included in order to demonstrate healthy eating. The class size is limited to 12 students.

Introduction to Technical Drawing

One Semester - ¼ Credit (Semester 2 only)

This course has been designed to give students basic skills that will be of benefit if they are planning to study architecture, interior design, industrial design or engineering at college. We will be learning both pencil and paper drafting and computer aided design (CAD). This course is technical, requiring precise measuring and drawing.

The class size is limited to 10 students.

 

Jazz Dance

One Semester - ¼ credit

In the Jazz Dance options course, students will experience creative movement and freedom of expression while gaining knowledge of dance technique, body awareness and confidence building.  Students do not need to have prior dance experience but students with dance experience will be able to further their skills.  Jazz Dance class will use music from different genres for musical awareness and creativity.  Dance class will consist of basic technical movements, stretching and warm up routines. Students will be required to wear proper clothing for stretch and movement.  Also students should bring liquid nourishment such as water or sports drink for replenishment.  Students will be expected to use their individual creativity and ideas for dance movement and choreography.  Students can expect to develop themselves with their creativity, confidence and self-control through the fine art of dance movement and performance.  Jazz Dance options class will be limited to 10 students each semester.

Journalism

One year – ½ credit (Grade 10, 11 and 12)

In the Jazz Dance options course, students will experience creative movement and freedom of expression while gaining knowledge of dance technique, body awareness and confidence building.  Students do not need to have prior dance experience but students with dance experience will be able to further their skills.  Jazz Dance class will use music from different genres for musical awareness and creativity.  Dance class will consist of basic technical movements, stretching and warm up routines. Students will be required to wear proper clothing for stretch and movement.  Also students should bring liquid nourishment such as water or sports drink for replenishment.  Students will be expected to use their individual creativity and ideas for dance movement and choreography.  Students can expect to develop themselves with their creativity, confidence and self-control through the fine art of dance movement and performance.  Jazz Dance options class will be limited to 10 students each semester.

Mandarin for Beginners

One year - ½ Credit

This class is designed for enthusiastic non-native speakers interested in studying Mandarin Chinese and culture. Class time will be spent with an emphasis on speaking, individualized tone correction as well as integrating fun activities such as group/partner conversations and games to further reinforce language skills. In the first semester we will build up strong pronunciation skills as we learn essential vocabulary (numbers, time, colors, foods). Students will gain confidence as they master basic sentence structures with accurate pronunciation. Students will also learn how to order and describe food, while being introduced to Chinese culture and cuisine. In the second semester we will cover simple daily-life topics such as shopping, and asking directions, etc. Field trips to a Chinese Restaurant and Chinese Store will give students chances to utilize what they have learned in real life. An introduction to Chinese poetry and other cultural aspects will be given if time permits. Upon completing this course students will have built a strong foundation, preparing them for future studies in Chinese.

The class size is limited to 12 students.

Mathematical Diversions

One Semester - ¼ credit (Semester 2 only)

Mathematics can be learned and enjoyed in many different forms. This course is designed for everyone to have fun while stretching her logical thinking skills. Activities will include various logic puzzles, cryptanalysis, ideas from probability and statistics, number games, as well as PSAT and SAT questions.

Musical Theatre

One semester - ¼ credit (Semester 2 only)

In the Musical Theatre Option course, students will mount a full musical theatre production with acting, singing, dancing, costuming, set design, and lighting. Students do not need to audition to be a part of this class, however, an audition will be held during the first week of class in order to cast the musical. Once students have committed to the course, they have committed to the entire semester of study. Students may not change courses because they are unhappy with the part they were assigned. Students may enroll in the class as performers and/or crew with the director’s approval. Students can expect to fine tune their auditioning skills, develop as performers, and experience what it’s like to create a theatre production in a collaborative environment.

Photography

One Semester - ¼ Credit (Semester 1 only)

This is for students who would like to learn more about using their camera settings and foundations of composition in order to produce quality photographs. We will also use Photoshop to manipulate some of our images. It is essential that students who choose this option have their own DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera. The class size is limited to 15 students.

Pottery

One Semester - ¼ Credit

This in-depth clay course is designed to develop all the skills necessary to use a variety of ceramic techniques in a small group situation. Wheel and hand building techniques are taught using professional tools and a wide range of firing and glazing situations. This is an all ability class which is a perfect preparation for students interested in the A.P. 3D Portfolio or for beginners who wish to start working with clay in greater depth. Senior A.P. students may also use this class time to develop their concentration work.

The class size is limited to 12 students.

SAT English

One Semester - ¼ Credit (Semester 1 – G9, G10, G11, G12, Semester 2 – G9, G10, G11)

All grade 9, 10 and 11 students at Sacred Heart sit the preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). Almost all high school students then go on to sit the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) during grade 11 and/or 12. This options course prepares students for the tests by focusing on honing critical reading and writing skills. Students will learn how to read effectively, expand vocabulary, and practice sections of the test.

SAT Math

One Semester - ¼ Credit (Semester 1 only, Grade 10 Enriched, 11 and 12)

Many of the universities our students attend consider their scores on the SAT as one of the criteria for admission. All our students take the PSAT, the preliminary versions of this test in grades 9, 10 and 11; grade 11 and 12 students usually take the SAT in the spring of their grade 11 year and/or in grade 12. In this Options course, students are given the opportunity to practice for the SAT Mathematics test using Khan Academy, the official online resource for College Board tests, SAT practice tests from the College Board, and other specially designed resources. In addition, test-taking strategies are illustrated and discussed. Students may also opt to practice for the SAT Mathematics Subject Test.

Speech and Drama

One Semester - ¼ credit (Semester 1 only)

This Option class will provide opportunities for collaboration in a creative environment, and gain the skills to build confidence on stage/public speaking. The first half of the course involves students creating performances for the Kanto Plain Speech Festival (within the 3 categories: Multiple, Dramatic Duo, or Humorous). The students will also be attending the annual Drama Festival which will be a stellar annual opportunity for students to meet and work with industry professionals and students from other international schools to devise a short performance.

The second half of the course will involve preparing a performance for the students and faculty which parents and guardians are invited to watch.

The class size is limited to 12 students.

Technology Toolkit

One Semester - ¼ credit

This is a one semester course designed for students to improve their skills in specific areas of technology that have been identified for improvement by themselves. Areas of study might be using individual applications such presentations, video creation, coding, or website creation, etc. Students in this course will work with the instructor and other class members (in groups) to create a final project based on their shared group goals and individual study plan.

The teacher will guide the students throughout the course by providing some resources, encouraging students to support themselves via independent learning, monitoring their progress and providing feedback. Although the course emphasizes individual study and skill improvement, students will also work together to help each other meet their shared group goals. To be successful in this course, students need to be motivated to learn, and to work well individually and in groups.

Vocal Music

One Semester - ¼ credit (Semester 1 only)

The Vocal Music Option course offers students an opportunity for individual vocal coaching, covering all areas of vocal technique and repertoire. Students will choose, learn and prepare music for Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival in November, and will also have a chance to perform in additional solo and small ensemble opportunities throughout the year. This course can also be used to prepare and record vocal literature for college music auditions. Students must be in HS Choir to take this course. If a student is a pianist, she may also enroll in this course as an accompanist for the singers. Students must see the HS Choir director for approval to take the course as an accompanist. If a student is unable to find an accompanist, school will provide one but only for Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival, Solo and Ensemble Recital and one practice. Students are encouraged to find a friend in school who can accompany them as that will allow them to be more prepared for the Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival.

If a student wishes to participate in the Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festival, they must do one of the following:

  1. Take the Vocal Music Options Course
  2. Enroll in private study with a teacher of their choice.
  3. Learn the music on their own (The HS Choir director will help with selection of a piece and will meet with the student one more time closer to the festival to check progress.)

Writer's Lab

One Semester - ¼ credit

Students will work to strengthen reading comprehension, expand their vocabulary and build skills in composing and editing sentences and paragraphs, helping them to express their ideas more clearly and correctly. Ultimately, the skills reinforced in Writers' Lab will support achievement in other subject areas that require a large volume of reading and a high level of writing, particularly English and Social Studies. Homework may be assigned if necessary for a student’s progress. Entry into this course is by teacher recommendation only.

Yearbook

One year – ½ credit (Grade 10, 11&12 only)

The yearbook, which is published towards the end of every school year, is a chronicle of school life – of significant events and activities that take place at Sacred Heart throughout the year. Students who join the Yearbook Staff record these moments of life at Sacred Heart and create an account that will be cherished by students, parents, teachers, and others for a lifetime.

It’s a big job, and a big responsibility that requires a serious commitment on the part of each Staff member. Throughout the two semesters, Staff will take and collect photographs, design page layouts using available software, and write and edit for a variety of audiences and purposes. In order to meet deadlines, Staff will work independently, in pairs, and as part of a team. They may interact with all members of the Sacred Heart community, including students, parents, teachers, administrators, and outside experts such as photographers. As part of the production process, they will learn time management, collaboration, leadership, and task delegation. Students who join in Grade 11 are expected to renew for a second year in Grade 12. Seniors who started as a yearbook Staff member in Grade 11 are eligible to run for positions as Yearbook Editors – a role which carries great respect and responsibility in the school community (and not incidentally looks great on a college application and job resume!).

Sophomores may join this class after passing a selection process which will include meeting with the Yearbook advisor and the recommendation of at least one teacher.