Departments & Course Descriptions
Humanities I: Self and Place
Humanities I is an interdisciplinary course that meets the English and social studies state standards for 9th graders. Students in this course learn about place and its power to shape their communities and themselves. Students explore and study places in the community, both familiar and unknown while focusing on the essential questions of what does it mean to come from a particular place? And how do place and people change each other?
Humanities II: American Studies
Humanities II is an interdisciplinary course that meets the English and social studies state standards for 10th graders. Students examine important thematic threads of Power, Independence, Society, Culture, and Progress, as they attempt to respond to essential questions such as how does the past influence the present? And what does it mean to be an American?
Culture and Composition
Students engage deeply with the writing process through a series of writing projects designed to teach the importance of revision, the value of clarity, and the critical elements of editing and style. Students will be exposed to a number of genres and will write a full-length research paper on an issue/topic of their choice.
Students explore democracy, its origins, development, use and abuse here and around the world and understand democracy and the political process through hands-on experiences and by contrasting it with other systems of government. Students explore the relationship between democracy and various economic systems as well as political and economic history in order to better understand our current state of affairs locally, nationally and globally.
This course consists of four mini-courses that will be taught much like college classes; they will be intense, focused studies of a particular genre of writing. Past mini courses have included: The Art of the Essay, George Orwell’s 1984, Shakespeare, and Gender Studies 101. Students also work intensely on their college application essays during first semester.
Math I: Algebra
Students will understand the fundamentals of algebra, beginning with how to write and solve single variable equations. Students also study: linear equations, exponential equations, functions, probability, data analysis. The course includes a review of the properties of real numbers. Emphasis is placed on the development of the basic math skills needed to solve algebra equations.
Math II: Geometry
Students will understand lines and curves in relationship to one another, in plane and in space. Topics include: properties of circles, triangles, polygons, lines, and angles, area and volume, transformations and tessellations, inductive and deductive reasoning.
Math III: Algebra 2/Trigonometry
Students continue their study of math concepts, including linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, relations, functions, radicals, imaginary and complex numbers. Emphasis is placed upon development of math skills through study of exponential and logarithmic functions, probability, statistics and elements of trigonometry.
This course completes the formal study of the elementary functions begun in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. Students focus on the use of technology, modeling, and problem solving involving data analysis, trigonometric and circular functions, their inverses, polar coordinates, complex numbers and quadratic relations. Discrete topics include the Principles of Mathematical Induction, the Binomial Theorem, and sequences and series.
Students study the natural history of the Sonoran Desert as they explore issues surrounding water, land, and space all through the lens of sustainability. Students participate in multiple fieldwork experiences throughout the year as they gain a deep understanding of their natural surroundings in the Southwest.
The nature of science embodies the habits of inquiry and evidence, and in this course students learn how to ask questions, how to find answers, and how to analyze those answers. Throughout the year, students develop a strong foundation in general biology and the scientific process. This course is designed to teach the application of scientific investigations, and to promote a life-long interest in science.
Chemistry in the Community
Students grapple with important questions, such as can we get sufficiently pure water? Where do we find mineral resources and how are they processed? Students learn the chemical knowledge that relates to day-to-day life such as the chemistry of color and how the brain works from a chemical standpoint. Students engage in laboratory investigations, computer laboratories, and group discussions throughout the year.
Students in this course become acquainted with the many peoples and cultures that speak Spanish by gaining a basic level vocabulary and grammar, the building blocks to communicating in Spanish. Students develop their listening, reading and writing skills in this course through daily exercises, homework, and involvement in classroom and community based projects where they can practice their skills. The class provides context-rich opportunities such as activities incorporating food, music, art, etiquette and literature to maximize student’s exposure to the language. Students are encouraged to develop an intrinsic drive to continue to learn Spanish, and a desire to travel to countries where Spanish is spoken.
Students continue to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Students participate in simple conversational situations by combining and recombining learned elements of the language orally and in writing. Students are able to satisfy basic survival needs and interact on issues of everyday life in the present time and past time inside and outside of the classroom setting. Students compose related sentences, which narrate, describe, compare, and summarize familiar topics.
Advanced Conversational Spanish
Students continue to read, write, comprehend, and speak Spanish. The course provides instruction directed at each student’s continued development of existing competencies in the Spanish language. Spanish is used exclusively in the classroom.
Spanish for Heritage Learners
This course emphasizes reading, writing, listening, and speaking the Spanish language. It provides instruction directed at student’s continued development of existing competencies in the Spanish language. Students will increase their awareness and appreciation of different Hispanic cultures. This course offers Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting in the same way native English-speaking students study English language arts. Spanish is used exclusively in the classroom.
City High School offers a range of arts-based electives with an emphasis on documentary and media arts. Our award-winning radio and video programs teach students the basic skills of audio and video editing, writing stories, interviewing, and publication. Student videos have appeared at the Loft Cinema and the Screening Room. Radio projects have been aired on KXCI, AZPM, and on other radio stations around the country. Other visual/media arts electives include yearbook, graphic design, and photography.
City High also offers several performance-based arts electives. Students in the drama production class perform a full-length show each year at a local theater. The student production involves students in all areas of theater, including acting, set design, scoring, and directing. Other performance-based electives at City High School have included jazz ensemble, accapella chorus, and band studio.
City High students have the opportunity to participate in a number of different fitness-based electives. Our yoga, capoeira, and karate instructors are accomplished practitioners from within the school and the greater community. A community partner teaches our indoor cycling class at a downtown cycling studio. Students who are interested in a self-paced, more personalized fitness plan may choose to join the downtown YMCA (at a highly discounted student rate) and work out with peers while being coached by an instructor. The complete list of fitness electives vary somewhat each year; prior offerings have included fencing, urban walking, and dance.