Courses

Online Curriculum

These courses are taught by Olympia School District certificated teachers.  All courses listed are broken into two semester courses unless otherwise noted. Students may take one, or both, semester-length courses. Select a title to see a brief description of the course.  Five courses meet Common Core State Standards (CCSS)*.  Please note: Courses may not be NCAA approved.

Language Arts

 

English 9  (CCSS)*

The English 9 course is an overview of exemplar selections of literature in fiction and nonfiction genres. Students read short stories, poems, a full-length novel, and a full-length Shakespeare play, analyzing the use of elements of literature in developing character, plot, and theme. For example, in selected stories, students compare the effect of setting on tone and character development. Likewise, in the poetry unit, students analyze how artists and writers draw from and interpret source material. Each unit includes informational texts inviting students to consider the historical, social, and literary context of the main texts they study. For example, in the first semester, a Nikolai Gogol story that is offered as an exemplar of magical realism is accompanied by instruction on that genre. Together, the lesson content and reading prompt students to demonstrate their understanding of magical realism by analyzing its qualities in a literary text. Throughout the course, students respond to others' claims and support their own claims in essays, discussions, and presentations, consistently using thorough textual evidence. The range of texts includes canonical authors such as William Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, and Elie Wiesel, as well as writers from diverse backgrounds, such as Alice Walker, Li-Young Lee, and Robert Lake-Thom (Medicine Grizzlybear).

English 10 (CCSS)*  

The focus of the English 10 course is the writing process. Three writing applications guide the curriculum: persuasive, expository, and narrative writing. Each lesson culminates in a written assignment that lets students demonstrate their developing skill in one of these applications. English 10 follows the model of English 9 by including at least one anchor text per lesson, but the essays, articles, stories, poems, and speeches are often presented as models for students to emulate as they practice their own writing. So that these readings may serve as proper examples for students, a high proportion of texts for this course are original pieces. English 10 also continues to develop students' reading, listening, and speaking skills. Readings include poems, stories, speeches, plays, and a graphic novel, as well as a variety of informational texts. The readings represent a wide variety of purposes and cultural perspectives, ranging from the Indian epic The Ramayana to accounts of Hurricane Katrina told through different media. Audio and video presentations enhance students' awareness and command of rhetorical techniques and increase their understanding of writing for different audiences.

English 11 (CCSS)*  

In the English 11 course, students examine the belief systems, events, and literature that have shaped the United States. They begin by studying the language of independence and the system of government developed by Thomas Jefferson and other enlightened thinkers. Next, they explore how the Romantics and Transcendentalists emphasized the power and responsibility of the individual in both supporting and questioning the government. Students consider whether the American Dream is still achievable and examine the Modernists’ disillusionment with the idea that America is a “land of opportunity.” Reading the words of Frederick Douglass and the text of the Civil Rights Act, students look carefully at the experience of African Americans and their struggle to achieve equal rights. Students explore how individuals cope with the influence of war and cultural tensions while trying to build and secure their own personal identity. Finally, students examine how technology is affecting our contemporary experience of freedom: Will we eventually change our beliefs about what it means to be an independent human being? In this course, students analyze a wide range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. They build writing skills by composing analytical essays, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and research papers. In order to develop speaking and listening skills, students participate in discussions and give speeches. Overall, students gain an understanding of the way American literature represents the array of voices contributing to our multicultural identity.

English 12 (CCSS)*

The English 12 course asks students to closely analyze British literature and world literature and consider how we humans define and interact with the unknown, the monstrous, and the heroic. In the epic poems The Odyssey, Beowulf, and The Inferno, in Shakespeare’s Tempest, in the satire of Swift, and in the rhetoric of World War II, students examine how the ideas of “heroic” and “monstrous” have been defined across cultures and time periods and how the treatment of the “other” can make monsters or heroes of us all. Reading Frankenstein and works from those who experienced the imperialism of the British Empire, students explore the notion of inner monstrosity and consider how the dominant culture can be seen as monstrous in its ostensibly heroic goal of enlightening the world. Throughout this course, students analyze a wide range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. They build writing skills by composing analytical essays, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and research papers. In order to develop speaking and listening skills, students participate in discussions and give speeches. Overall, students gain an understanding of the way British and world literature represent the array of voices that contribute to our global identity.

Reading Skills & Strategies (Length: 1 semester)

Reading Skills and Strategies is a course is designed to help the struggling reader develop mastery in the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary building, study skills, and media literacy, which are the course's primary content strands. Using these strands, the course guides the student through the skills necessary to be successful in the academic world and beyond. The reading comprehension strand focuses on introducing the student to the varied purposes of reading (e.g., for entertainment, for information, to complete a task, or to analyze). In the vocabulary strand, the student learns specific strategies for understanding and remembering new vocabulary. In the study skills strand, the student learns effective study and test-taking strategies. In the media literacy strand, the student learns to recognize and evaluate persuasive techniques, purposes, design choices, and effects of media. The course encourages personal enjoyment in reading with 10 interviews featuring the book choices and reading adventures of students and members of the community. The content is based on the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards and aligned to state standards.

Writing Skills & Strategies (Length: 1 semester)

Writing Skills and Strategies develops key language arts skills necessary for high school graduation and success on high stakes exams through a semester of interactive instruction and guided practice in composition fundamentals. The course is divided into ten mini-units of study. The first two are designed to build early success and confidence, orienting students to the writing process and to sentence and paragraph essentials through a series of low-stress, high-interest hook activities. In subsequent units, students review, practice, compose and submit one piece of writing. Four key learning strands are integrated throughout composition practice, grammar skill building, diction and style awareness, and media and technology exploration. Guided studies emphasize the structure of essential forms of writing encountered in school, in life, and in the workplace. Practice in these forms is scaffolded to accommodate learners at different skill levels. The content is based on the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards and aligned to state standards.

 

Social Studies


Geography & World Cultures (Length: 1 semester) 

Geography and World Cultures offers a tightly focused and scaffolded curriculum that enables students to explore how geographic features, human relationships, political and social structures, economics, science and technology, and the arts have developed and influenced life in countries around the world. Along the way, students are given rigorous instruction on how to read maps, charts, and graphs, and how to create them. Geography and World Cultures is based on standards from the National Council for History Education (1997), the National Center for History in the Schools (1996), and the National Council for Social Studies (1994) and is aligned to state standards. Geography and World Cultures is designed as the first course in the social studies sequence. It develops note-taking skills, teaches the basic elements of analytic writing, and introduces students to the close examination of primary documents.

Psychology  (Length: 1 semester)

Psychology provides a solid overview of the field's major domains: methods, biopsychology, cognitive and developmental psychology, and variations in individual and group behavior. By focusing on significant scientific research and on the questions that are most important to psychologists, students see psychology as an evolving science. Each topic clusters around challenge questions, such as “What is happiness?” Students answer these questions before, during, and after they interact with direct instruction. The content is based on the American Psychological Association's National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula. The teaching methods draw from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) teaching standards.

Sociology (Length: 1 semester)

Sociology examines why people think and behave as they do in relationships, groups, institutions, and societies. Major course topics include individual and group identity, social structures and institutions, social change, social stratification, social dynamics in recent and current events, the effects of social change on individuals, and the research methods used by social scientists. In online discussions and polls, students reflect critically on their own experiences and ideas, as well as on the ideas of sociologists. Interactive multimedia activities include personal and historical accounts to which students can respond, using methods of inquiry from sociology. Written assignments provide opportunities to practice and develop skills in thinking and communicating about human relationships, individual and group identity, and all other major course topics. The course content is based on the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.

Washington State History     (1 semester)

World History

In World History, students learn to see the world today as a product of a process that began thousands of years ago when humans became a speaking, traveling, and trading species. Through historical analysis grounded in primary sources, case studies, and research, students investigate the continuity and change of human culture, governments, economic systems, and social structures. Students build and practice historical thinking skills, learning to connect specific people, places, events and ideas to the larger trends of world history. In critical reading activities, feedback-rich instruction, and application-oriented assignments, students develop their capacity to reason chronologically, interpret and synthesize sources, identify connections between ideas, and develop well-supported historical arguments. Students write throughout the course, responding to primary sources and historical narratives through journal entries, essays and visual presentations of social studies content. In discussion activities, students respond to the position of others while staking and defending their own claim. The course's rigorous instruction is supported with relevant materials and active learning opportunities to ensure students at all levels can master the key historical thinking skills. This course is aligned to state standards and the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Social Studies.

U.S. & Global Economics (Length: 1 semester)

U.S. and Global Economics offer a tightly focused and scaffolded curriculum that provides an introduction to key economic principles. The course covers fundamental properties of economics, including an examination of markets from both historical and current perspectives; the basics of supply and demand; the theories of early economic philosophers such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo; theories of value; the concept of money and how it evolved; the role of banks, investment houses, and the Federal Reserve; Keynesian economics; the productivity, wages, investment, and growth involved in capitalism; unemployment, inflations, and the national debt; and a survey of markets in areas such as China, Europe, and the Middle East. U.S. and Global Economics is designed to fall in the fourth year of social studies instruction. Students perfect their analytic writing through a scaffolded series of analytic assignments and written lesson tests. They also apply basic mathematics to economic concepts. Students read selections from annotated primary documents and apply those readings to the course content. The content is based on standards from the National Council for History Education (1997), the National Center for History in the Schools (1996), and the National Council for Social Studies (1994) and is aligned to state standards.

U.S. Government & Politics  (Length: 1 semester)

In U.S. Government and Politics, students examine the history, principles, and function of the political system established by the U.S. Constitution. Starting with a basic introduction to the role of government in society and the philosophies at the heart of American democracy, this course provides students with the knowledge needed to be informed and empowered participants in the U.S. political system. Through critical reading activities, feedback-rich instruction, and application-oriented assignments, students develop their capacity to conduct research, analyze sources, make arguments, and take informed action. In written assignments, students address critical questions about U.S. politics and the role of individual Americans in the politics and political organizations. In discussion activities, students respond to political opinions, take a position, and defend their own claims. Formative and summative assessments provide students — and teachers — with ample opportunities to check in, review, and evaluate students’ progress in the course. This course is aligned to state standards, the College, Career, and Civil Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (2013), the National Standard for Civics and Government (1994), and the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Social Studies.

U.S. History 

U.S. History traces the nation's history from the pre-colonial period to the present. Students learn about the Native American, European, and African people who lived in America before it became the United States. They examine the beliefs and philosophies that informed the American Revolution and the subsequent formation of the government and political system. Students investigate the economic, cultural, and social motives for the nation's expansion, as well as the conflicting notions of liberty that eventually resulted in civil war. The course describes the emergence of the United States as an industrial nation and then focuses on its role in modern world affairs. Moving into the 20th and 21st centuries, students probe the economic and diplomatic interactions between the United States and other world players while investigating how the world wars, the Cold War, and the “information revolution” affected the lives of ordinary Americans. Woven through this chronological sequence is a strong focus on the changing conditions of women, African Americans, and other minority groups. The course emphasizes the development of historical analysis skills such as comparing and contrasting, differentiating between facts and interpretations, considering multiple perspectives, and analyzing cause-and-effect relationships. These skills are applied to text interpretation and in written assignments that guide learners step-by-step through problem-solving activities. The content is based on standards from the National Council for History Education (1997), the National Center for History in the Schools (1996), and the National Council for Social Studies (1994) and is aligned to state standards.


Math

 

Algebra I (CCSS)

Algebra II      (CCSS)*

Geometry      (CCSS)*

Pre-Calculus  

Calculus

Mathematics of Personal Finance

Mathematics of Personal Finance focuses on real-world financial literacy, personal finance, and business subjects. Students apply what they learned in Algebra I and Geometry to topics including personal income, taxes, checking and savings accounts, credit, loans and payments, car leasing and purchasing, home mortgages, stocks, insurance, and retirement planning. Students then extend their investigations using more advanced mathematics, such as systems of equations (when studying cost and profit issues) and exponential functions (when calculating interest problems). To assist students for whom language presents a barrier to learning or who are not reading at grade level, Mathematics of Personal Finance includes audio resources in both Spanish and English. This course is built to state standards as they apply to Mathematics of Personal Finance and adheres to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM) Problem Solving, Communication, Reasoning, and Mathematical Connections Process standards. Course Materials Semesters 1 & 2: Required TI-84 Plus, TI-83, or TI-83 Plus Calculator

Probability & Statistics

Probability and Statistics provides a curriculum focused on understanding key data analysis and probabilistic concepts, calculations, and relevance to real-world applications. Through a "Discovery-Confirmation-Practice"-based exploration of each concept, students are challenged to work toward a mastery of computational skills, deepen their understanding of key ideas and solution strategies, and extend their knowledge through a variety of problem-solving applications. Course topics include types of data; common methods used to collect data; and the various representations of data, including histograms, bar graphs, box plots, and scatterplots. Students learn to work with data by analyzing and employing methods of prediction, specifically involving samples and populations, distributions, summary statistics, regression analysis, transformations, simulations, and inference. Ideas involving probability — including sample space, empirical and theoretical probability, expected value, and independent and compound events — are covered as students explore the relationship between probability and data analysis. The basic connection between geometry and probability is also explored. To assist students for whom language presents a barrier to learning or who are not reading at grade level, Probability and Statistics includes audio resources in English. The course is built to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards and is aligned with state standards. No required or optional materials.

Elective Math (Does not fulfill math graduation requirement)

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy helps students recognize and develop vital skills that connect life and career goals with personalized strategies and milestone-based action plans. Students explore concepts and work toward a mastery of personal finance skills, deepening their understanding of key ideas and extending their knowledge through a variety of problem-solving applications. Course topics include career planning; income, taxation, and budgeting; savings accounts, checking accounts, and electronic banking; interest, investments, and stocks; cash, debit, credit, and credit scores; insurance; and consumer advice on how to buy, rent, or lease a car or house. These topics are solidly supported by writing and discussion activities. Journal activities provide opportunities for students to both apply concepts on a personal scale and analyze scenarios from a third-party perspective. Discussions help students network with one another by sharing personal strategies and goals and recognizing the diversity of life and career plans within a group. To assist students for whom language presents a barrier to learning or who are not reading at grade level, Financial Literacy includes audio resources in English. This course is built to state standards as they apply to Financial Literacy and adheres to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM) Problem Solving, Communication, Reasoning, and Mathematical Connections Process standards.


Introduction to Algebra

Liberal Arts Math (1 semester)


Electives 

 

Art Appreciation       (Length: 1 semester)
Art Appreciation is a survey of the history of Western visual arts, with a primary focus on painting. Students begin with an introduction to the basic principles of painting and learn how to critique and compare works of art. Students then explore prehistoric and early Greek and Roman art before they move on to the Middle Ages. Emphasis is placed on the Renaissance and the principles and masters that emerged in Italy and northern Europe. Students continue their art tour with the United States during the 20th century, a time of great innovation as abstract art took center stage. While Western art is the course's primary focus, students will finish the course by studying artistic traditions from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Coverage of each artistic movement highlights historical context and introduces students to key artists that represent a variety of geographic locations. Throughout the course, students apply what they have learned about art critique to analyze and evaluate both individual artists and individual works of art.
Art Appreciation is based on national standards developed by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, as well as key state standards. It encompasses a variety of skills to enable students to critique, compare, and perhaps influence their own works of art.

Creative Writing       (Length: 1 semester)
Creative Writing is an English elective course that focuses on the exploration of short fiction and poetry, culminating in a written portfolio that includes one revised short story and three to five polished poems. Students draft, revise, and polish fiction and poetry through writing exercises, developing familiarity with literary terms and facility with the writing process as they study elements of creative writing. Elements of fiction writing explored in this course include attention to specific detail, observation, character development, setting, plot, and point of view. In the poetry units, students learn about the use of sensory details and imagery, figurative language, and sound devices including rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration. They also explore poetic forms ranging from found poems and slam poetry to traditional sonnets and villanelles. In addition to applying literary craft elements in guided creative writing exercises, students engage in critical reading activities designed to emphasize the writing craft of a diverse group of authors. Students study short stories by authors such as Bharati Mukherjee and Edgar Allan Poe, learning how to create believable characters and develop setting and plot. Likewise, students read poetry by canonical greats such as W. B. Yeats and Emily Dickinson as well as contemporary writers such as Pablo Neruda, Sherman Alexie, and Alice Notley. Studying the writing technique of a range of authors provides students with models and inspiration as they develop their own voices and refine their understanding of the literary craft. By taking a Creative Writing course, students find new approaches to reading and writing that can affect them on a personal level, as the skills they gain in each lesson directly benefit their own creative goals. Students who are already actively engaged writers and readers learn additional tools and insight into the craft of writing to help them further hone their skills and encourage their creative as well as academic growth. All English elective content is based on the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) standards. 

Digital Photography(Length: 2 semesters)

Health (Length:  1 semester)
Health is a valuable, skills-based health education course designed for general education in grades 9 through 12. Health helps students develop knowledge, attitudes, and essential skills in a variety of health-related subjects, including mental and emotional health, social health, nutrition, physical fitness, substance use and abuse, disease prevention and treatment, and injury prevention and safety. Through use of accessible information, realistic interactivities, and project-based learning, students apply the skills they need to stay healthy. These skills include identifying and accessing valid health information, practicing self-management, identifying internal and external influences, communicating effectively, making healthy decisions, setting goals, and advocating. Students who complete Health build the skills they need to protect, enhance, and promote their own health and the health of others.
The content is based on the National Health Standards (SHAPE) and is aligned to state standards.

Media Literacy

Multi-Cultural Studies


World Languages


Spanish I
, II, III


German I, II


Honors


Math

Algebra I

Algebra II

Geometry

Pre-Calculus


English


Honors English 9  
The English 9 Honors course is an overview of exemplar selections of literature in fiction and nonfiction genres. Students read short stories, poems, a full-length novel, and a full-length Shakespeare play, analyzing the use of elements of literature in developing character, plot, and theme. For example, in selected stories, students compare the effect of setting on tone and character development. Likewise, in the poetry unit, students analyze how artists  and writers draw from and interpret source material. Each unit includes informational texts inviting students to consider the historical, social, and literary context of the main texts they study. For example, in the first semester, a Nikolai Gogol story that is offered as an exemplar of magical realism is accompanied by instruction on that genre. Together, the lesson content and reading prompt students to demonstrate their understanding of magical realism by analyzing its qualities in a literary text. Throughout the course, students respond to others' claims and support their own claims in essays, discussions, and presentations, consistently using thorough textual evidence. The range of texts includes canonical authors such as William Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, and Elie Wiesel, as well as writers from diverse backgrounds, such as Alice Walker, Li-Young Lee, and Robert Lake-Thom (Medicine Grizzlybear).


Honors English 10 
 

The focus of the English 10 Honors course is the writing process. Three writing applications guide the curriculum: persuasive, expository, and narrative writing. Each lesson culminates in a written assignment that lets students demonstrate their developing skill in one of these applications. English 10 Honors follows the model of English 9 Honors by including at least one anchor text per lesson, but the essays, articles, stories, poems, and speeches are often presented as models for students to emulate as they practice their own writing. So that these readings may serve as proper examples for students, a high proportion of texts for this course are original pieces. English 10 Honors also continues to develop students' reading, listening, and speaking skills. Readings include poems, stories, speeches, plays, and a graphic novel, as well as a variety of informational texts. The readings represent a wide variety of purposes and cultural perspectives, ranging from the Indian epic The Ramayana to accounts of Hurricane Katrina told through different media. Audio and video presentations enhance students' awareness and command of rhetorical techniques and increase their understanding of writing for different audiences.


Honors English 11 
In the English 11 Honors course, students examine the belief systems, events, and literature that have shaped the United States. They begin by studying the language of independence and the system of government developed by Thomas Jefferson and other enlightened thinkers. Next, they explore how the Romantics and Transcendentalists emphasized the power and responsibility of the individual in both supporting and questioning the government. Students consider whether the American Dream is still achievable and examine the Modernists’ disillusionment with the idea that America is a “land of opportunity.” Reading the words of Frederick Douglass and the text of the Civil Rights Act, students look carefully at the experience of African Americans and their struggle to achieve equal rights. Students explore how individuals cope with the influence of war and cultural tensions while trying to build and secure their own personal identity. Finally, students examine how technology is affecting our contemporary experience of freedom: Will we eventually change our beliefs about what it means to be an independent human being? In this course, students analyze a wide range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. They build writing skills by composing analytical essays, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and research papers. In order to develop speaking and listening skills, students participate in discussions and give speeches. Overall, students gain an understanding of the way American literature represents the array of voices contributing to our multicultural identity.

Honors English 12 
The English 12 Honors course asks students to closely analyze British literature and world literature and consider how we humans define and interact with the unknown, the monstrous, and the heroic. In the epic poems The Odyssey, Beowulf, and The Inferno, in Shakespeare’s Tempest, in the satire of Swift, and in the rhetoric of World War II, students examine how the ideas of “heroic” and “monstrous” have been defined across cultures and time periods and how the treatment of the “other” can make monsters or heroes of us all. Reading Frankenstein and works from those who experienced the imperialism of the British Empire, students explore the notion of inner monstrosity and consider how the dominant culture can be seen as monstrous in its ostensibly heroic goal of enlightening the world.
Throughout this course, students analyze a wide range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. They build writing skills by composing analytical essays, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and research papers. In order to develop speaking and listening skills, students participate in discussions and give speeches. Overall, students gain an understanding of the way British and world literature represent the array of voices that contribute to our global identity.

Middle School Level Courses


Language Arts

Language Arts - 6

Language Arts - 7

Language Arts - 8

Math

Math - 6

Math - 7

Introduction to Algebra - 8

Social Studies

Social Studies - 6

Social Studies - 7

Social Studies - 8