Verdugo Hills High School

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Course Descriptions

AP COURSES

 

A.P. Computer Science: (Van Baal)

Java (= lined based programming language).

 

AP Computer Science Principles (Ramstad)

AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. AP Computer Science Principles also gives students the opportunity to use current technologies to create computational artifacts for both self-expression and problem solving. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science.

Sign-up form at https://www.ramstadmath.com/ap-csp/.

 

AP Human Geography is designed as a course for 9th grade students and a perfect first experience in Verdugo’s AP program. It is a college level course, which includes intensive reading and writing, but the level of the material is manageable for motivated students who have no prior experience with AP. Colleges are especially looking for students who challenge themselves in high school, and a freshmen AP course is a fantastic opportunity to show colleges that a student is preparing for college level work, but without the same kind of pressure of an AP score in the junior or senior year. Students tend to increase AP scoring results with each course and exam they take, and human geography is a perfect precursor for the 10th grade AP world and AP European courses. Students who take this course will be much better prepared for success in future AP courses. The study of human geography includes some physical geography, but it is much more than that. We study populations, demographics, migration, religions, languages, governments, ethnicities, farming, industry, types of businesses, economic development, cities, and environmental issues.

In addition, human geography students also have the opportunity to complete an AP service learning component in conjunction with the course material. Completion of the component will result in a special recognition that will be added by the college board to the student’s transcript that will be sent to colleges.

 

AP Statistics:

Statistics is the art and science of collecting, organizing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Done properly, statistics can help us get clear answers to complex questions from the world around us.  In AP Statistics, we will organize our study of statistics around four major themes: exploring data, planning and conducting a study, anticipating patterns (probability models), and statistical inference.  We will use statistical software, interactive Web tools, and graphing calculator simulations to investigate important probability and statistics concepts.  This course will prepare you to take the AP Statistics exam in May.  Successful completion of Statistics & Probability is a prerequisite for this class.

 

Course Goals: As a result of successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate quantitative literacy skills necessary for informed citizenry.
    • Draw conclusions in the face of uncertainty using data analysis, probability, and statistics.
    • Critically interpret information that is provided in graphical and/or numerical form.
  • Construct and evaluate statistical arguments.
    • Show understanding of the appropriate scope of inference for a given study design.
    • Weigh graphical and numerical evidence in making decisions based on data.
  • Develop and apply mathematical models to examine real-world quantitative relationships.
    • Fit a linear regression model to bivariate data, transforming one or both variables if needed.  Assess the quality of the model and use it to make predictions.   
    • Use an appropriate probability model to describe a distribution of data or the outcomes of some chance process.
  • Communicate their reasoning effectively, using appropriate notation and terminology, both orally and in writing.
  • Collaborate productively with peers in small groups and present to a bigger group.
  • Decide when and how to use technology as an aid in solving problems.
  • Weigh ethical considerations in statistical studies and situations that involve chance and risk.
  • Appreciate the diverse applications of statistics and probability in the world around them.

 

ROP/CTE COURSES

Introduction to Ornamental Horticulture

This competency-based course is the first in a sequence of three designed for landscaping. It provides Regional Occupational Program (ROP) students with project-based learning (PBL) and work-based learning (WBL) opportunities in the proper use of general landscape tools, plant identification, soil analysis, fertilization, irrigation and water management, pruning, weed abatement, and pest management. Instructions also include an orientation and the development of communication and interpersonal skills, employability skills, and e-portfolio production. The competencies in this course are aligned with the California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards and the Common Core State Standards.

Stage Technology classes: During the year we will explore the properties of light, color, space and sound as they relate to theatrical presentation and performance.  We will use Imagination, planning, artistry, discipline and technology of Set Design, Carpentry, Stage Lighting, Scenic Painting, Prop Design, Costuming and Make-Up to create the theatrical environment or “world” of the productions here at school.

The course objectives are to:

  • Develop Collaborative Spirit and Teamwork
  • Develop a healthy respect for safety and organization in the theater production setting.
  • Concerns for Group and Personal Safety
  • Explore Aesthetic Perceptions and Explore Historical and Cultural Perspectives of Theatre
  • Create a Strong Technical Background
  • Learn Practical Application of Techniques, Styles, Form, etc.
  • Develop a clear understanding of various technical and backstage theater disciplines and learn how to apply them in a collaborative environment.
  • Develop a keen sensibility of the aesthetic, practical and social world we live in and how to recreate that world on stage.
  • Develop a professional work ethic and collaborative respect for each member of the production team, cast, theater staff and management engaged in the production.

 

Introduction to Landscape

This competency-based course is the first in a sequence of three designed for landscaping. It provides Regional Occupational Program (ROP) students with project-based learning (PBL) and work-based learning (WBL) opportunities in the proper use of general landscape tools, plant identification, soil analysis, composting, drip irrigation and water management, pruning, weed abatement, and pest management. Instructions also include an orientation and the development of communication and interpersonal skills, employability skills, and e-portfolio production. The competencies in this course are aligned with the California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards and the Common Core State Standards.

 

Video Production Classes: The goal of the course is for the student to develop the ability to capture great video images and audio, and to be able to edit those two elements together to tell a story.

In this course we will explore the history and language of film, video and film composition, cameras, lighting, and other film and video equipment.  We will also follow a professional format of single camera narrative production within our projects.

During the course each student will be taught:

  • A fundamental understanding of composition and basic film/video visuals and vocabulary
  • The basic principles of how to capture great video and audio.
  • The Production Process, including brainstorming, outline, screenplay, storyboard, and planning
  • How to edit video and audio.

How to tell a story by combining video and audio.

 

OTHER ELECTIVE OPTIONS

 

ECS: (Van Baal)

Intro to computers (= o.a. hardware & binary code).

HTML (= web pages) with options for Flash and JavaScript.

Scratch (= cartoons & games).

Robotics (= Lego robots).

E-Textiles (= sew clothing & program LED lights).

Python (= programming language).

Optional:

AppInventor (= apps for Android cellphones).

Java (= computer language).

Cyber Security (= Internet security).

Cyber Forensics (= cryptology).

JavaScript = interactive windows in web pages.

Flash = animation in web pages. Outdated technology.


Cyber Security Club: (Van Baal)

Learn the basics of cyber security, get a loaner laptop for the academic year and participate in online competitions.

 

Academic Decathlon:

Academic Decathlon is the ultimate academic experience and challenge for students of all proficiency achievement levels.  In this program, students compete in mathematics, English literature, science, art, music, composition, speech, interview, economics, and social science at the highest academic level in high school.  This year’s topic is the 1960s, A Transformational Decade.  Join the movement.

 

Digital Imaging AB

Digital Imaging introduces students to a software called Adobe Photoshop.  This software is an industry standard for complex graphics and image manipulation.  Over the duration of this course, students will learn various creative ways to complete individual projects by incorporating basic art elements and principals.  These projects will allow students to demonstrate creative techniques and concepts learned through demonstrations and lectures.  Students will also explore a few advanced features to further their understanding of Photoshop. 

After completing the first term of Digital Imaging, students will carry their Photoshop knowledge over to create digital elements used in Interactive Media.  This class will introduce students to homepage designs, animation concepts, basic scripting, and sound which are required to complete several interactive multimedia projects.

 
Digital Imaging Production:
Digital Imaging Production will focus on the techniques and fundamentals of digital drawing by turning rough pencil sketches into digital illustrations. Students coming into the class will be introduced in not only drawing in general but digital drawing using a Wacom Stylus in front of a computer.  This tool will be offered to all students to use in class and also at home.   The class will start by getting students comfortable with technology and pencil drawings.  Students will establish technology basics before any drawing introduction. From there, students will get acquaint themselves with the software drawing tools and lines techniques. Students will then transition shading techniques and into 3D forms such as shapes, plants, characters, and other fun objects.

 

Exploring Computer Science (Ramstad)

Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is an introductory high school course designed to engage students in computational thinking and practice. A major aim of ECS is attracting students who might not think of themselves as “typical” candidates for computer science.  ECS provides a comprehensive set of inquiry-based lessons while using a variety of tools and platforms. The course is a component of the ECS program, a K12/university partnership committed to democratizing computer science.  A major component of this program is teacher professional development, and CS for All Teachers aims to support that component.

The robotics club is looking for a couple students to sign up for next year. They can find a sign up form online at www.vhhsrobotics.com.

 

 Advanced Game Design

This course develops and refines computer programming skills. Students are introduced to the C# programming language and game development with Unity. This course emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development. In addition, the course will focus on the key concepts of game design and use projects designed by Riot Games and Unity Technologies. Students will apply their programming knowledge, concepts, and skills of game design and development to produce 2D and 3D games of all types.

 

Introduction to Psychology and Sociology:

This course will examine the studies of psychology and sociology, which will allow students to understand more about how the body and mind work together, and better understand social behavior, including how humans interact with others and society. This course’s psychology term will cover core topics such as human social behavior, personality, psychological disorders and treatment, learning, memory, human development, biological influences, and research methods. The sociology portion of the class will study how individuals relate to society and vise versa.  Topics will more closely examine how societies change over time, and how social order develops.  Students will developing an understanding of social behavior, social interaction, social organization, social institutions, and social change local, national, and global scales.

 

College/Career Class:  Using a career planning process, students assess interests, skills, personality, values, and life/work style choices. Students explore cultural differences and gain an awareness which is applied to work setting. Students research potential educational and careers goals, and relate their self-assessment information to occupational possibilities and college majors

 

Work Experience: Work Experience meets every Wednesday at 7am. Students are required to be present every Wednesday and complete a lot of paperwork. There grade is 50% attendance and 50% paperwork.  To enroll in the class students need to have a job that carries Worker's Compensation Insurance and deducts taxes and social security.  All students are required to have a Work Permit even if they are 18 years of age. Self-employment and jobs such as babysitting, housework, gardening, and door-to-door selling will not count towards Work Experience credits. There must be a location (not the student's home) at which the student can normally be contacted during working hours.

 

Marine Biology

Adaptation to Life in the Ocean: How do organisms live, grow, respond to their environment, and reproduce? How are abiotic factors different in the ocean vs on land?   How do structures of organisms enable life’s functions in an ocean environment?
Ocean Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: How and why do organisms interact with their environment and what are the effects of these interactions? How do organisms interact with the living and nonliving environments to obtain matter and energy? How do matter and energy move through the ocean ecosystem?
Human Impact on Life in the Ocean: How have humans impacted the stability of the marine ecosystem? What are the causes and ramifications of the following phenomena: Climate change; Ocean Acidification; Coral Bleaching; Pollution; Overfishing
 
 Marching Dynamics:
This course is a competitive course. Students must be able to attend rehearsals outside of class hours. This course provides PE credit. This course may be taken by students who want to participate in marching band, drum line, and colorguard. Students in this course are eligible to participate in the Rose Parade.
 
Drill Team:
This course offers the same discipline course as Marching Dynamics with the emphasis on dance, the technique of flag choreography, and use of other props for the field show. This course does not offer PE credit.
 
Advanced Band/Jazz Ensemble(Spring Semester):
Does not offer PE credit. This is a fine arts course designed to provide advanced studies in concert band and Jazz.
 
Advanced Orchestra:
This course provides advanced techniques in symphonic orchestra and chamber ensembles.