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Core Subjects

High School Program

The information below is from our Therapeutic Day School Student Handbook. Each teacher develops lesson plans aligned with the Massachusetts Common Core and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The lesson plans include a variety of activities to address the learning styles of each of the students.

In grades 9-12, students receive course instruction that will help the student build the skills needed to pass the MCAS and satisfy graduation requirements. This can vary from student to student based on coursework completed prior to placement in our school and based on graduation requirements of that students’ sending school district. Each grade follows the pathways listed below:

 Grade 9 Grade 10
Language Arts Language Arts/American Literature
Algebra I Geometry
Biology Earth Science
United States History I United States History II


Grade 11 Grade 12
Language Arts/British Literature Language Arts/World Literature
Algebra II Pre-calculus
Chemistry Physics
World History II Government/Economics

Each student is required to participate in additional courses in order to satisfy credit requirements for graduation. These include: Consumer Education, Computers, Civics, Sociology, Current Events, Creative Writing, and Art.

Core Subjects

Freshman English: Academic English 9 is a yearlong course designed to prepare students as they gain a command of English and literacy skills that will prepare them for college and career pathways. Through a rigorous curriculum, freshmen will focus on reading, writing and oral communication for the 21st Century. In literature, reading is undertaken in the interpretation and analysis of various genres, such as short fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry, and the novel. Reading and writing exercises are studied similar to those on the MCAS test taken in the sophomore year.

American Literature: Academic English 10 is a standards based yearlong course designed to expose students to the academic and career pathways of the 21st Century. The reading is a survey of American literature and the novels of great American writers for collateral readings. The course concentrates on development of skills in composition, vocabulary in context, grammar, and usage. Reading and writing exercises similar to those on the MCAS test taken in the sophomore year are included within the curriculum.

British Literature: Academic English III is a yearlong course designed primarily for juniors who plan to continue their studies in an academic setting. This course is designed to prepare the student for a 21st Century society with a focus on writing and technical skills he/she will need to function successfully in a competitive school and career. The goal of the course also seeks to instill an understanding and appreciation of British Literature.

Algebra I: Some of the major topics covered during this year long course include linear equations and inequalities, slope, functions, systems of equations, polynomials, factoring, quadratic functions, and radicals. A primary aim of the course will be the development of a variety of methods used to solve more complex algebraic equations. A scientific calculator is recommended.

Geometry: Some of the major topics covered during this year long course include lines, planes, angles, polygons, congruence, similarity, circles, areas, and volumes. A primary aim of the course will be the development of logical thinking.

Algebra II: This college prep course is a continuation of Algebra I. Topics of study includes solving and graphing equations and inequalities, solving and graphing linear and non-linear functions, logarithmic and exponential functions.

Pre-Calculus: This course emphasizes the use and application of polynomial, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions and their applications, the extension of conic sections and the concept of theory of limits.

Biology: This course is a standards based course, which incorporates the Massachusetts Science Curriculum Frameworks. Topics include structure and composition of organic molecules, structure and function of cells, hydrolysis, dehydration synthesis, protein synthesis, genetics, human anatomy and physiology, evolution and biodiversity, taxonomy, and ecology.

Earth Science: This standards based course incorporates the National Advanced Placement environmental science curriculum. This course meets for the entire school year. Content of the course includes such topics include earth’s systems, ecosystems, populations, land and water use, and pollution.

Chemistry: This standards based course incorporates the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for chemistry. This overview of chemistry includes the properties of matter, atomic structure and periodicity, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, the gas laws, solutions, acids and bases, and equilibrium, and thermo-chemistry.

Physics: Physics is a standards based course which incorporates the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for physics. It is an algebra-based-course covering linear motion, dynamics, work-energy-momentum, heat, wave motion, and electromagnetism. In addition to problem solving, students will work in groups in the laboratory and in preparation of multimedia presentations.

United States History I: United States History I is a required course for all Grade 9 students and must be passed for graduation. This course includes the History of the United States from 1763 to 1865. Based on the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Standards U.S. I.1-41, topics include the American Revolution, the Constitution, westward expansion, sectional conflict, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Students will read and write in history and practice basic research techniques.

United States History II: This is a required course for Grade 10 students, which must be passed to meet graduation requirements. The course continues the study of United States History begun in U.S. History I, beginning with the late 19th century and continuing to the present day. Students will study the Industrial Revolution, America’s role in diplomatic relations, the Progressive movement and the New Deal. They will also learn about the factors that led to America’s entry into World War II as well as causes of the Cold War, the Civil Rights movement and recent events and trends in America. This course is based on the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Standards U.S. II.1-33.

World History II: Studying topics beginning with the French Revolution to the present day, this required course is designed to give students a better understanding of the world around us. The course is based on the standards in the Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework WHII.1-48. Topics will include the industrial revolution, European imperialism in Africa, Asia, and South America, and the major conflicts and wars of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Government/Economics: What is economics and how does it affect our everyday lives? This question and others such as: what and how we buy, sell, and lend affect employment, income distribution, and the balance of trade will be included. This course will examine factors that determine national income, employment, and prices. Students will analyze patterns of consumption and savings, private investment and government policy, business functions, and the interaction between money and national income. The course also addresses international economics including exchange rates, markets, and monetary systems.