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Graduation Requirements

To graduate from American Heritage School, students must pass 24 credits of high school coursework  in the following categories:

  • History – 4 credits
  • English – 4 credits
  • Math¹ – 3 or 4 credits
  • Science² – 3 or 4 credits
  • Fine Arts – 1 credit
  • Life Skills – 1 credit
  • PE – 1.0 credit
  • Senior Thesis – 0.5 credit
  • Electives – 4.5 credits
¹ Four credits of math OR science are required.
² Science credits earned must include 2 of the 3 following categories:  physics, chemistry, biology—or AP courses of these subjects.
 

Course Descriptions, 2023–2024

Described below are courses offered during the 2023–2024 school year. Additional courses will be added in future years. Some courses will be taught on a rotating basis. For example, AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics are taught alternating years.

The Hero’s Journey in Literature (1 credit). This course explores the recurring pattern of the Hero’s Journey in classic Literature such as Greek and Norse Mythology, Beowulf, and The Lord of the Rings. You will study the different stages that a hero must experience and how that changes one’s character, applying this to characters within each literature study, relating to Christlike characteristics that affect the characteristics we wish to see in heroes today and in ourselves.

 

News Writing & Editing (1 credit). In this class, you will explore written communication fundamentals to express yourself clearly and effectively. You will develop media literacy skills, long-form/ short-form writing, radio and news writing, professional presenting and pitching, and purposeful social posting. This class will also work together to produce effective communication campaigns, including American Heritage School’s literary magazine, marketing campaigns for school activities, and the school’s yearbook. You will leave this course with an understanding of how to recognize truth in a world bombarded with information and effectively communicate your beliefs and values.

 

Analytical Reading and Writing (0.5 credit). Becoming a great writer is an exhilarating and rigorous process that takes many, many years. The purpose of this class is to accelerate this process by empowering you to learn directly from the great writers of English literature. By reading, enjoying, and analyzing examples of great literature, you will discover the principles and philosophies the masters used, and you will then apply these principles in your own writing projects to communicate messages that are deeply meaningful and important.

 

British Literature and Rhetoric (1 credit). You will examine British literature and poetry, scripture, and essays while honing active reading, grammar, critical thinking, analysis, rhetoric, expository writing, and creative writing skills. When you complete this class, you will better know how to engage each other as well as understand their wider world. You will also be able to confidently express your views and voices in a persuasive and effective manner as well as write with persuasion and strength. 

 

American Literature (1 credit). You will investigate American literature and poetry, scripture, and essays while also strengthening your active reading, grammar, critical thinking, analysis, rhetoric, expository writing, and creative writing skills. When you complete this class, you will be able to see, think, and communicate clearly as they interact with our wider world. You will also understand how to apply rhetoric as a means of persuasion, expository writing as a means of refined thinking, and creative writing as a means of expression. 

 

Ancient World History Up to 1500 (1 credit) In this course, you will examine world history beginning with the Creation and moving forward until approximately the beginning of the Renaissance. We will cover the civilizations of Israel, Babylon, Persia, Greece, India, Rome, Early Medieval Europe, China, and the Far East. Due to the expansive nature of the course, we will focus on select events, people, cultures and ideologies with an emphasis on government development and how these subjects relate to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. You will demonstrate mastery of the curriculum by making connections between history, the words of the prophets, and your own lives; identifying and distinguishing between the major periods of ancient history and what legacies remain in our modern world; appreciating key individuals; and reasoning and relating concepts from historical events to yourself and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Modern World History Since 1500 (1 credit). You will explore political, military, social, religious, cultural, intellectual and economic developments and how they have steered world history as a way to understand the systems, technologies, innovations, and ideas that shape our world today. When you complete this class, you will know how the various events, lands, and peoples of the modern era interacted to produce what we call modern world history, how to think about and analyze historical data, and how to articulate their findings in writing.

 

American History (1 credit). This course is a character-focused exploration of the history of America: “a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted” (2 Nephi 1:5).  It is a primary-source-based survey of rich topics from seven major themes in American history: restored-gospel foundations, American religious history, American political history, American military history, American cultural history, Native American history, and African American history. 

 

AP Microeconomics (1 credit). You will explore both intuitive and mathematical approaches to fundamental economic concepts including production, economic growth, supply and demand, elasticity, surplus, consumption, firms, markets, labor, and monopolies. The role of government in the realm of economics will also be emphasized. When you complete this course, you will be ready to take the AP exam in microeconomics and to understand the language, principles, and applications of the field. 

 

International Relations (0.5 credit). You will unpack various political, military, social, religious, cultural, intellectual, and economic developments to learn how they combined over centuries to create our modern international relations system. Diplomatic advances that brought peace and stability will be contrasted with failings that bred war. When you finish the class you will understand past international orders and how international structures, organizations, and theories shape world relations today.

 

AP Human Geography (1 credit). In this course, you will study the patterns and processes that have helped shape the surface of Earth and the environment humans live in today; study case studies and examples that connect these concepts and processes whilst developing analytical skills and using tools to understand information shown in a variety of formats to see trends in data and visual sources to help draw effective conclusions. The topics we will cover are Population and Migration, Culture, Politics, agriculture and rural land use, cities and Urban land use, and industrial and economic development. 

 

Pre-Algebra (1 credit). In Pre-algebra, students will learn fractions and their arithmetic operations, decimals and their arithmetic operations, mixed numbers and their arithmetic operations, signed numbers and their arithmetic operations, order of operations, percents, ratios, proportions, divisibility, rounding, place value, unit conversions: scientific notation, evaluation and simplification of algebraic, expressions, the solution of linear equations in one unknown, word problems involving algebraic concepts, graphing, perimeter, area, surface area, volume, classification of geometric figures and solids, geometric construction, and symmetry. Students will explore key thematic questions such as, “What problem-solving principles can we learn from PEMDAS, and how can we apply it to
solving our own life problems?”

 

Algebra 1 (1 credit). Specific topics covered include the arithmetic of and evaluation of expressions involving signed numbers, exponents and roots, properties of the real numbers, absolute value and equations and inequalities involving absolute value, scientific notation, unit conversions, solution of equations in one unknown and solution of simultaneous equations, the algebra of polynomials and rational expressions, word problems requiring algebra for their solution (such as uniform motion and coin problems), graphical solution of simultaneous equations, Pythagorean theorem, algebraic proofs, functions and functional notation, solution of quadratic equations via factoring and completing the square, direct and inverse variation, and exponential growth, computation of the perimeter and areas of two-dimensional regions, computation of the surface area and volume of a wide variety of geometric solids, and statistics and probability.

 

Algebra 2 (1 credit). Algebra 2 covers a considerable amount of geometry. Specific algebra topics covered include the following: graphical solution to simultaneous equations, scientific notation, radicals, roots of quadratic equations including complex roots, properties of the real numbers, inequalities and systems of inequalities, logarithms and antilogarithms, exponential equations, basic trigonometric functions, algebra of polynomials, vectors, polar and rectangular coordinate systems, and a wide spectrum of word problems requiring algebra to solve. Considerable time is spent developing geometric concepts and writing proof outlines. Students completing Algebra 2 will have studied the equivalent of one semester of informal geometry. Applications to other subjects such as physics and chemistry as well as “real-world” problems are covered including gas law, force vector, chemical mixture, percent markups, etc. Set theory, probability and statistics, and other topics are also treated.

  • Teachers: Erich Gott
  • Days: M–F
  • Length: Full year
 

Precalculus (1 credit). In Precalculus, topics from algebra, geometry, trigonometry, discrete mathematics, and mathematical analysis are interwoven to form a fully integrated course. Specific topics covered in this course include permutations and combinations, trigonometric identities, inverse trigonometric functions, conic sections, graphs of sinusoids, rectangular and polar representations of complex numbers, De Moivre’s theorem, matrices and determinants, the binomial theorem, and the rational roots theorem. Additionally, a rigorous treatment of Euclidean geometry is presented. Word problems are developed through the problem sets and become progressively more elaborate and difficult. By the end of the text, students will be able to solve competition-level problems with ease. The graphing calculator is studied and used to graph functions and perform data analysis. Also, conceptually-oriented problems that prepare students for college entrance exams (such as the ACT and SAT) are included in the problem sets.

  • Teachers: Erich Gott
  • Days: M–F
  • Length: Full year
 

AP Calculus AB (1 credit). Calculus treats all the topics normally covered in an Advanced Placement AB-level calculus program, as well as many of the topics required for a BC-level program. The text begins with a thorough review of those mathematical concepts and skills required for calculus. In the early problem sets, students practice “setting up” word problems they will later encounter as calculus problems. The problem sets contain multiple-choice and conceptually oriented problems similar to those found on the Advanced Placement examination. Whenever possible, students are provided an intuitive introduction to concepts prior to a rigorous examination of them. Proofs are provided for all important theorems.

  • Teachers: Erich Gott
  • Days: M–F
  • Length: Full year
 

Future Offering: AP Statistics (1 credit). To be offered in 2024–2025. An introduction to the fundamental methods of data collection and analysis, and how to properly use these methods to draw conclusions about real world applications. The content in this course includes exploratory data analysis, study planning, probability models, and statistical inference. This class is designed for the highly motivated student who has demonstrated excellence in mathematical reasoning and critical thinking. The AP Exam is optional and requires a fee.

  • Teachers: Erich Gott
  • Days: M–F
  • Length: Full year

AP Physics 1 (1 credit). You will journey through early-modern scientific history with Galileo, Newton, Kepler, and other great scientists as we discover and apply the basic laws of motion that predict the movement of objects in our universe, while also growing in our understanding of the mutually reinforcing relationship of science and faith. By the end of the course, you will be prepared to take the AP exam and apply scientific methodologies to solve real problems.

 

Computer Science (1 credit). You will learn the fundamentals of computer programming, which they can apply to whatever fields of interest they plan to pursue. You will also develop a broad understanding of the field of computer science, including how the internet works, how to safely and responsibly behave online, and how computers impact the world. If you can tell the difference between a computer and a toaster, you have all the prior experience needed to succeed in this course (no programming experience is required). This course will prepare you for AP Computer Science A.

 

Future Offerings: AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, Robotics.

Advanced Art (0.5 credit). “The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of” (Leonardo Da Vinci). In this course, you will learn how to get clarity on what’s most important to reach your creative potential. This course will teach you to build healthy habits and skills for artistic expression, problem solving, and execution. This is an introduction to a wide range of 2D art processes, including advanced drawing, painting and print-making skills and techniques. The course also explores 3D Design.

 

Beginning Drama (0.5 credit). In this class, you will explore yourselves and the world around them through performance and acting skills. You will examine the various dimensions of characters through analysis, discussion, and classroom performance, working with scripts from various time periods and cultures. By the end of this course, you will enhance you skill sets and feel increased confidence in performing in front of an audience. 

 

Advanced Drama (1 credit). You will explore your talents through producing the school’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher (Performing February 29th–March 2nd). By the end of the course, you will understand how to stay fully present and focus outside yourself. As performers, the goal is to make a genuine connection, stay truly present, and be entirely connected to others. This class is by audition only. Auditions are due online by July 31, 2023 at https://flip.com/3892301d.

 

Patriot Chorale (1 credit). The purpose of this course is to increase your lifelong ability to meaningfully interact with diverse styles of music and find personal satisfaction in group music-making experiences. Singing will be the primary mode by which this purpose is realized. Course content will include: 

  • Group vocal technique
  • Rehearsal and performance skills
  • Solo/small ensemble performance
  • Music literacy (reading and writing notation, musical terms and symbols)
  • Individual musicianship (sol fa, dictation, critical listening, etc.)
 

Heritage Youth Chorus (0.25 credit). Same description as the Patriot Chorale. After school. Audition here. Pass/fail credit only.

 

Lyceum Orchestras (0.25 credit). After school only. Audition here. Pass/fail credit only.

  • Teacher: Kayson Brown
  • Days: W, 3:30–5:00 PM
  • Length: Full year

Strength and Conditioning (1 credit). You will develop and/or improve your physical capacities and become a better athlete through training specifically designed to improve athletic qualities such as speed, agility, strength, power, and much more.

 

Team Sports (0.5 credit). An introduction to the fundamentals of various sports through play. An opportunity for kids to be exposed to different abilities, movements, and strategies and just have fun!


Social Dance & Etiquette (0.25 credit). You will learn Western social dances, such as waltz, Cha-cha, foxtrot, and swing, which you can enjoy as a social activity and sport long into old age.


Folk Dance (0.25 credit). You will learn folk dances from around the world.  

  • Teacher: Amy Robinson
  • Days: T, Th
  • Length: Half year (Spring Semester)

Cross Country (0.25 credit). Develop and/or improve physical capacities and become a better runner through training specifically designed to improve speed, agility, cardiovascular endurance, power, and much more. Taught after school. Pass/fail credit only.

  • Teacher: TBD
  • Days: TBD
  • Length: Seasonal (Fall Semester)

Soccer (0.25 credit). You will develop and/or improve fundamental skills of ball control, dribbling, shooting, passing, movement and decision-making through small sided games and practice. Taught after school. Pass/fail credit only.


Basketball (0.25 credit). You will develop and/or improve fundamental skills of shooting, passing, dribbling, movement and game intelligence through a variety of games and practice. Taught after school. Pass/fail credit only.

  • Teacher: TBD
  • Days: TBD
  • Length: TBD

Volleyball (0.25 credit). You will develop and/or improve fundamental skills of bumps, sets, spikes, serves and movement on the court through games and practice. Taught after school. Pass/fail credit only.

  • Teacher: TBD
  • Days: TBD
  • Length: TBD

Principles of Leadership and Personal Management (0.25 credit). The major theme of the Principles of Leadership and Personal Management is “Inside-Out Leadership,” as it relates to the task of all leaders to lead from the inside (internally and privately) to the outside (externally and publicly).  The anchor text for the course is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. Various biographies of leaders from different disciplines will be introduced and studied. Units of study also include advocacy, negotiation, and avoiding and overcoming addictive behaviors. 

 

Business Fundamentals (0.25 credit). In this course, you will learn about various aspects of organizational administration and management, such as governance/leadership, mission, vision, values, goals, culture, policy, standard operating procedures, product/service development, market analysis, finance, operations, human resources, sales, and more. The course will focus on for-profit commercial enterprises, but class topics will also be related to non-profit, civic, church, and home.

  • Teacher: Sarah Costa
  • Days: Th, P5 (Must be taken with Principles of Leadership)
  • Length: All Year
 

Family Science (0.25 credit). In Family Science, you will explore thematic questions such as:

  • What factors contribute to enduring, happy marriages and families?
  • What small and simple things can families do that will make a big difference in family happiness?
  • What do Christian teachings, social science, and case studies reveal about successful children, parents, and family relationships?
  • What life lessons can students apply in their lives now and in the future?

The principles from The Family, A Proclamation to the World are the foundation for this class. We will come to understand from a biological, social, family law, and eternal perspective, why the natural family, with marriage between a man and woman at its core, is the fundamental unit of society. Various principles of healthy and productive family relationships will be taught. Students will use the 4-R methodology (research, reason, relate and record) to apply these principles in their own lives. Each student will learn skills and principles which will enable them to be Christ-centered children, siblings, and eventual husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers. Topics to be studied include: Communication skills, conflict management, personal financial management, dating standards and skills, college and career planning, gender roles and responsibilities, and general human development stages. Lesson plans dealing with human sexuality, including gender roles and human development stages, are available to parents. Parents are always invited to attend and participate in the live classes, at their discretion.

  • Teacher: Jennifer Shurtz
  • Days: Th, P6 (Must be taken with Financial Literacy)
  • Length: All Year
 

Financial Literacy (0.25 credit). In this course, you will learn important ideas, concepts, knowledge, and skills to implement those decision-making skills they must apply and use to become wise and knowledgeable consumers, savers, investors, users of credit, money managers, citizens, and members of a global workforce and society.

  • Teacher: Sarah Costa
  • Days: T, P6 (Must be taken with Family Science)
  • Length: All Year
 

Senior Thesis (0.5 credit). TO BE OFFERED 2024–2025. Offered during your senior year, this class is intended to introduce you to the process and techniques involved in academic research and writing. This course will also provide help and assistance in completing the Senior Thesis which is both a graduation requirement and considered to be a capstone project for seniors at American Heritage School. Consequently, you will be required to research and write a 6,000-word thesis on an argumentative topic selected by the student. Topics will need to be approved by the instructor. Research for the Thesis must be in academic sources and largely depend on peer reviewed articles and materials. Each student will present and defend their thesis before a panel of judges. Students will also write, edit, and submit an essay for publication by the school regarding their experience at American Heritage. Students will also perform other assignments and write other projects throughout the course.