2019/2020 SophieConnect Course Offerings
Full Year Courses
AP Art History – Humanities
The AP Art History course explores such topics as the nature of art, its uses, its meanings, art making and responses to art. Through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of culture from prehistory to the present, the course fosters an in-depth and holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students learn and apply visual, contextual comparative analysis to engage with a variety of art forms, constructing understanding of individual works and interconnections of art-making processes and products throughout history.
This course helps students develop an understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting and other media. Students will examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the past and the present from a variety of cultures. Art history emphasizes understanding of how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender, and the functions and effects of works of art.
AP Comparative Government & Politics – Humanities
This year-long course introduces students to the rich diversity of political life outside the United States. The course uses a comparative approach to examine the political structures, policies, and political, economic, and social challenges among six selected countries: Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, Iran, China, and Nigeria. Additionally, students examine how different governments solve similar problems by comparing the effectiveness of approaches to many global issues.
Students successfully completing this course will:
Compare and contrast political concepts, themes, and generalizations;
Describe and explain typical patterns of political processes and behaviors and their consequences;
Compare and contrast political institutions and processes across countries to derive generalizations; and
Analyze and interpret basic data relevant to comparative government and politics.
AP Computer Science A – Mathematics
AP Computer Science A introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computer science.
Students will write, run, test and debug solutions for a number of programs in the Java programming language, utilizing standard Java library classes and interfaces from the AP Java subset.
This course has specific hardware requirements so a Mac or PC computer is required. For information on these requirements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Data Structures in Computer Science – Mathematics
Data Structures in Computer Science builds upon the student's knowledge of algorithm design by expanding on previously introduced concepts in AP Computer Science A. Big-O notation, creating highly efficient algorithms, and effective use of data structures are skill sets developed throughout the course. The course's primary focus is programming projects that allow students to develop critical thinking skills and enable them to create elegant algorithms. By the end of the course, students will gain an appreciation for the limitations of the processing power in today's computers and will learn to to think critically to solve problems using code.
Prerequisite: AP Computer Science A or equivalent
AP Human Geography – Humanities
The AP Human Geography course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.
By the end of the course, students should have a more geoliterate view, be more engaged in contemporary global issues, and achieve more multicultural viewpoints. In addition, they will have developed skills in approaching problems geographically, using maps and geospatial technologies, thinking critically about texts and graphic images, interpreting cultural landscapes, and applying geographic concepts such as scale, region, diffusion, interdependence, and spatial interaction, among others. Students should see geography as a discipline relevant to the world in which they live; as a source of ideas for identifying, clarifying, and solving problems at various scales; and as a key component of building global citizenship and environmental stewardship.
Latin I/II – World Language
The study of ancient Latin has witnessed a resurgence in recent years at both the Middle and the Upper School levels throughout the country -- and with good reason. Knowledge of the vocabulary of Latin is enormously helpful in deciphering the meanings and nuances of tens of thousands of words in English. Perhaps even more importantly, knowledge of the structure of the Latin language in terms of its grammar and syntax provides special insight into the (far simpler) structure of the English language, the mastery of which leads to an almost immediate improvement in the English writing skills of the student.
The Latin I course begins with an overview of the basic elements of English grammar and then proceeds to the systems of declensions and conjugations that are fundamental to Latin. Special attention will be paid to the developed case system for nouns and adjectives in Latin and to the various tenses of the Latin verb. Students will also work with Latin adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, pronouns and the passive voice. Daily exercises in Latin will reinforce what the students have learned, as will brief reading selections of modified ancient stories in Latin.
Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to learn about the culture and achievements of the ancient Romans. No prerequisites are required. The material in the course will be taught through a combination of video lectures and online tutorials designed to be used in conjunction with the textbook.
Latin III/IV – World Language
Latin III/IV is a continuation of the Latin I/II course and consists of three main components: (1) a review and acquisition of grammar and syntax, (2) the translation and close reading of texts written in the original Latin and (3) a study of the culture and history of the ancient Romans.
The course will begin with a thorough overview of the basic Latin grammar and syntax learned in previous years of Latin (e.g., the declensions, conjugations, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, etc). Students will then proceed to items relating to the more advanced Latin grammar and syntax, including the various participial formations, the ablative absolute, the gerund and gerundive constructions and the forms and syntax of the subjunctives.
As students work through the grammar and syntax, they will also be reading and analyzing texts of various lengths written by Caesar, Cicero, Ovid, Catullus, Vergil and other ancient writers not only so that they can practice and apply their understanding of the mechanics of the language, but also so that they can gain a further appreciation of the richness and power of the Latin language.
AP Macroeconomics – Mathematics or Humanities
The AP Macroeconomics course gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics.
By the end of the course, students will understand:
Basic Economic Concepts such as scarcity and opportunity costs, the functions performed by an economic system, how the tools of supply and demand are used to analyze the workings of a free market economy and an introduction to the concept of the business cycle.
Measurement of Economic Performance which provides an overview of how the economy works, the circular flow of income and products; how gross domestic product is measured; the nature, causes and costs of unemployment; what inflation is and how it is measured; and more.
National Income and Price Determination which introduces the aggregate supply and aggregate demand model to explain the determination of equilibrium national output and the general price level, as well as to analyze and evaluate the effect of public policy.
The Financial Sector including how monetary policy works, the definitions of both the money supply and money demand and the factors that affect each of them, and also topics such as bonds and stocks, the time value of money, measures of the money supply, fractional reserve banking and the Federal Reserve System.
AP Microeconomics – Mathematics or Humanities
The AP Microeconomics course gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.
By the end of the course, students will understand:
Basic Economic Concepts including opportunity costs, trade-offs, differences between absolute and comparative advantage, the importance of property rights, and the principle of marginal analysis among others.
The Nature and Function of Product Markets including supply and demand models, consumer choice, production and costs, and the theory of the firm.
Factor Markets including labor, capital, land and the concept of derived demand.
Market Failure and the Role of Government which covers marginal social benefit and marginal social cost principle, as well as the effectiveness of government policies such as subsidies, taxes, quantity controls, and public provision of goods and services among other aspects.
AP Music Theory – Humanities
The AP Music Theory class is designed to prepare students in the areas of music theory, analysis and ear training. Through the course, students develop the ability to recognize, understand, and describe basic materials and processes of tonal music that are heard or presented in a score. Development of aural skills is a primary objective. Performance is also part of the curriculum through the practice of sight singing. Students understand basic concepts and terminology by listening to and performing a wide variety of music. Notational skills, speed, and fluency with basic materials are also emphasized.
The course is ideal for the serious music student who plans to further their musical studies at the postsecondary level or perhaps pursue a career in music, but it is open to any experienced musician who desires to know more about how music is put together. It is the goal for the AP Music Theory student to recognize, understand and describe the basic processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. It is assumed that the student entering this course has some previous musical training and can perform at an intermediate or advanced level and is fluent in reading musical notation.
AP Psychology – Humanities
The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology.
Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, analyze bias, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.
AP Statistics – Mathematics
The AP Statistics course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding of the four themes of the course:
Exploring Data - Describing patterns and departures from patterns using graphical and numerical techniques.
Sampling and Experimentation - Planning and conducting a study using data collected according to a well-developed plan if valid information on a conjecture is to be obtained. This includes clarifying the question and deciding upon a method of data collection and analysis.
Anticipating Patterns - Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation, and using probability as the tool for anticipating what the distribution of data should look like under a given model.
Statistical Inference - Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses guided by the selection of appropriate models.
Biblical Hebrew – World Language
Biblical Hebrew I provides an introduction to the ancient Hebrew language. The course will begin with a few weeks of introductory work devoted to the ancient Hebrew alphabet and the sounds of the letters. Students will then learn how to pronounce full words and, later on, full sentences. Subsequent grammatical material will focus on the noun, the adjective, the definite article, and simple statements of existence, in addition to the structures and the meanings of the various verbal forms of ancient Hebrew.
Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity not only to pronounce, but to read stories from the Old Testament in the original language of ancient Hebrew. Biblical stories from Genesis regarding the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, and Joseph with his “coat of many colors” will be the subjects for work in translation and interpretation.
As students will find, reading the texts in the original, ancient language makes possible real insight not only into the stories themselves, but also into the process of close reading and analysis of any written work. Connections will be made, where appropriate, in the course between the grammatical forms of ancient Hebrew and those of other ancient languages like Aramaic (i.e., the language of Jesus), Ugaritic, ancient Arabic and Akkadian.
Financial Literacy – Fall 2019 & Spring 2020 – Mathematics
This course covers topics such as savings and budgeting; managing credit cards; understanding a credit score and its implications; student loans for higher education; taxes and insurance; and how banks, the Federal Reserve and the Stock Exchange work. The goal of the course is to have the students develop a fundamental knowledge of concepts and vocabulary, which will become a foundation for sound financial decision-making in the future.
Nutrition & Wellness – Fall 2019 – Science
In the Nutrition and Wellness course, students will take a look at current nutritional trends, current food guides, food labels, and the many steps required to get food from the farm to the table. Students will delve into human digestion and be introduced to the basic macro and micro nutrients (fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals). This knowledge will then be applied to a variety of topics, including food allergies/sensitivities, fuel for learning, and the effects of malnutrition. Students will research and discuss the most common diets and their advantages and disadvantages. This will lead into a discussion regarding healthy weight management and disordered eating. This course will also offer a basic introduction to sports nutrition, and nutrition throughout the stages of life (pregnancy, baby, child, adolescent, and adult).
General Psychology – Spring 2020 – Humanities
General Psychology introduces students to the major paradigms and systems in Psychology today. Students will be asked to treat Psychology like any other science, and use the scientific method to help them solve problems and gain a better understanding of themselves and others. As an introduction to the field of Psychology, this class covers some of the most important as well as the most interesting fields within Psychology today including; Sensation and Perception, Consciousness and Dreams, Social Psychology, Personality Theories, and Abnormal Psychology. At the end of this class students will better understand all of the areas in their lives which are affected by Psychology everyday and be able to apply what they have learned to their own lives.
Summer Courses 2020 (Summer Enrichment) - to come!
Tune Up Your Writing (grades 9-12) – Dates TBD – Humanities
Get a jump on the school year and build your writing skills and confidence. This course is designed to restart and refresh the students’ knowledge of writing fundamentals and reboot and revitalize their ability to produce well-structured and interesting essays, papers and any other school-related (or life-related) writing. Students will participate in various writing assignments and receive instructor feedback. Topics include: Essential Grammar; Vocabulary Building; Sentence Structure; Paragraph Structure; Thesis Development; Essay Planning and Execution.
Fee: $500 | Register Now | Meet the Instructor (Coming Soon)
PSAT Prep Course (grades 10-11) – Dates TBD – Test Prep
This course is designed to help students develop the necessary skills to achieve their highest potential on standardized tests such as the PSAT. The course will focus on determining a student’s strengths and weaknesses in both verbal and mathematical concepts as well as building strategies to maximize points on multiple choice exams. Students will be answering questions through a series of online assessments reflective of actual PSAT exams.
The following skill sets will be improved:
Understanding common pitfalls
Additionally the necessary basic knowledge of math and verbal concepts will be refreshed and strengthened:
Numbers and Operation
Algebra and Functions
Geometry and Measurement
Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability
Problem solving and math applications in Science and History/Social Studies
Fee: $500 | Register Now | Meet the Instructor (Coming Soon)