Departments & Curriculum Guide
The English department provides college-preparatory, honors, and Advanced Placement curricula through which students are taught to value great literature, to write with an awareness of their audience, and to communicate effectively. The need for technological research skills and mechanical precision permeates the department. Through the study of literature, composition, and oral communication, students become ever more creative and independent thinkers in a world of global communication expectations.
Each level of English instruction focuses on a particular area in the study of literature:
• English 9 - Genres of Literature
• English 10 - Major Literary Themes
• English 11 - American Literature
• English 12 - British Literature
Honors classes are also offered at all year levels.
The AP Program offers two courses in English studies, designed to provide the opportunity to engage with a typical introductory-level college English curriculum. AP English Language and Composition (junior year) focuses on rhetorical analysis of nonfiction texts and the development of evidence-centered analytic and argumentative writing. AP English Literature and Composition (senior year) focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about fiction from various periods.
Over the past five years (2012-2016), AP English students at John Carroll have enjoyed the personal attention that comes with an average class size of 14. They have also performed well on their AP tests, earning average scores of 3.81 in AP Language and 3.52 in AP Literature. The national averages for these tests in 2015 were 2.79 and 2.78, respectively.
The science curriculum provides an academic, college preparatory program that seeks to create a scientifically literate student. The program provides courses and electives in four major fields of science: biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science. In an effort to accommodate the diverse needs and interests of the student population, all core sciences have at least two levels, and Advanced Placement courses are offered in biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental science. Electives include Forensic Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Marine Biology, Zoology, Introduction to Engineering, JAVA Programming, and Robotics. Extracurricular science activities include the Envirothon Team, Chemathon Team, Science Quiz Bowl Team, Robotics Club, and Science Olympiad Team.
The Science Department faculty incorporate a variety of teaching methods designed to meet the needs of the different learning styles of the students. Technology is incorporated into lessons through the use of computer lab simulations, research work, data collection interfaces and sensors, and note taking. Enrichment is provided through outside learning experiences, such as job shadowing and internships and field trips to science events and businesses. The Diploma with Distinction in Science Program is also available to interested students who will graduate with at least five credits in science, conduct a senior project related to science, and meet other specified grade requirements.
The Fine Arts program is aligned with national and state standards for visual arts. We strive to educate all students in creative thinking, creative production, and the artistic process while developing their understanding and appreciation of the artistic achievements of people from different times, places, and cultures. We have created an environment that supports the implementation of a rich, rigorous visual arts curriculum and encourages a culture of artistic thinking, learning, creative production, and achievement of excellence. Students have the opportunity to pursue a Fine Arts Distinction Diploma when they enter as freshmen by selecting a variety of fine art courses every year during their high school career.
The Fine Arts program offers a depth and breadth of learning that is far and above what a student could receive in most of the high schools in the area. Our creative writing, yearbook journalism, and journalism courses are very strong and have garnered national recognition. The Fine Arts Distinction Diploma has been very successful and has led to many students going on to art colleges, including Savannah College of Art and Design, Maryland Institute College of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and Rochester Institute of Technology. Students can earn a fine arts “distinction” on their diploma by taking four and a half fine arts classes. The department introduced Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Introduction to Architecture courses to reinforce the STEM Academy.
The Fine Arts program offers not only a variety, but a sequence of course work in concentrated areas. All of the fine arts classes have instructors who are competent and passionate about their craft. The School has many extracurricular and club opportunities for our students to further their fine arts exploration. The campus also has in residence the Academy of Performing Arts & Dance. The Fine Arts department presents both fall and spring stage productions, as well as winter and spring concerts. The band marches in numerous area parades and home football games. It also performs at school assemblies, pep rallies, and Open House.
The John Carroll School Social Studies Department seeks to develop innovative thinkers, problem solvers, and world changers! Each teacher is tasked with the mission of cultivating the love of learning in every student and challenging students to develop critical 21st century skills.
The department strives to equip and prepare students with a proper appreciation for the principles and practices of social science inquiry. Along with the encouragement of recognizing and respecting the diversity of humankind and a variety of opinions and perspectives, students are trained in research and analytical reasoning skills to both defend their own position and to consider alternative views. A strong emphasis in the department is placed on academic rigor and real-world application. Teachers recognize that we live in an ever changing dynamic world and as such our curriculum seeks to integrate a recognition of past forces that are shaping our modern world. Courses are offered both in broad conceptual understanding of topics and areas of social science as well as more intricate and specific areas of study.
The JC Social Studies Course Offerings
· Human Geography
· Western Civilization
· United States Government
· United States History
· Post 1945 US History
The Social Studies Department is excited to be the home of the newest and most innovative program at The John Carroll School … the FLEX Program (Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurial Exploration). Our Flex Program seeks to challenge students to become more engaged in the area of finances, economics, business development, and the process of problem solving.
The JC FLEX Program Course Offerings
· Financial Literacy (a course taken by all Sophomores)
· Business Law
· Entrepreneurial Exploration
The FLEX Program also offers an opportunity to participate in after school clubs and activities such as the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and also participate in a number of Business Challenges such as the following competitions …
a.) Diamond Challenge – University of Delaware
b.) MIT Launch – MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
c.) FBLA Regional and State Competitions – National Program
Beyond the traditional curriculum and our FLEX program, the department seeks to emphasize the importance of technology integration, both as a research tool and as a presentation and communication tool to prepare students for twenty-first-century learning. Additionally, students are challenged by faculty to utilize technology, primarily Web 2.0 tools, to further their understanding and awareness of a vast array of social science issues.
Finally, beyond our classroom walls and personal screens, the Social Studies Department seeks to engage students in a variety of outside-the-classroom experiences and opportunities. Some of the opportunities available to students are as follows:
• Student Affairs Council (student government)
• Speech and Debate Team
• Maryland Student Page Program
• Morning Star Native American PowWow
• Psychology Fair
The Mathematics Department provides a college preparatory curriculum in which students are taught to value mathematics as a necessary tool in today’s global society and to be effective problem solvers. Each teacher presents material analytically, verbally, numerically, and graphically by using various forms of technology. Through the study of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, students become critical thinkers better equipped to solve real-world problems.
A notable strength in the Mathematics Department is the collaboration of teachers as they work together planning lessons, sharing materials, and helping each other. Members of the department have an impressive number of years of teaching experience, which is reflected in the variety of teaching methods and materials used in instruction. The mathematics faculty recognizes the ongoing need for professional development, and they take advantage of the opportunities to attend workshops and conferences both during the school year and in the summer to revise and improve the curriculum as appropriate.
The World Languages Department offers four-year sequential programs in Chinese, French, German, and Spanish. There is a range of classes for all ability levels, including Advanced Placement offered in French, German, and Spanish. School facilities include a Language Lab where students work to perfect their listening and speaking skills in the target languages. The commitment of the department members to excellence in instruction and respect for students combines to achieve a positive climate of mutual growth and acceptance. Our goal is to enable our students to develop language proficiency in oral, written, reading, and comprehension skills.
The school has exchanged with schools in France, Germany and Spain and is also investigating an exchange in China. Exchanges give our students exposure to the culture and spoken language that is unavailable in the classroom. These valuable experiences have allowed our students to form close friendships throughout the world. The school enthusiastically supports these varied and important programs. Students also have ample opportunities to travel. Countries visited in recent years include Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Scotland.
International Student Program
The School welcomes admission to qualified international applicants as one-semester or one-year exchange students, as well as to students who are interested in pursuing a John Carroll diploma. As part of the admissions process, students are required to complete an interview and take the TOEFL test. Based on their language proficiency, students may be placed in English for International Students as well as other specially designed courses for English language learners. International students become integral members of the community by attending classes, joining teams, and participating in a variety of extracurricular activities. Students live with individual host families, many of which have children attending the School. Male students also have the option of living in the dorm on campus. The School community strives to prepare its students “to serve responsibly in shaping a more just and compassionate global society.” The International Student Program supports this part of the School’s mission statement by fostering international friendship, promoting intercultural understanding, and developing foreign language skills.
John Carroll has adopted the curriculum framework published by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. Ninth graders entering John Carroll will follow the sequence of courses outlined below.
All students take a religion course each semester.
Every day starts with morning prayer and prayer precedes every class. A weekday mass or prayer service is celebrated on Tuesdays after Advisory time and “all-school” masses occur about once a month. All students attend an annual retreat.
In keeping with the Mission Statement of the John Carroll School, the virtue of justice and the attitude of service are cultivated in every course offering. Mindful of the outstanding educational legacy of Archbishop John Carroll students are encouraged and challenged to learn for life. At John Carroll School, students of all faiths participate in the religion department course offerings. Experience has demonstrated that the presence of diverse experiences enriches the learning of all.
Grade 9 Course Titles:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture
Who is Jesus Christ?
Grade 10 Course Titles:
The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery)
Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church
Grade 11 Course Titles:
Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ
Life in Jesus Christ
Grade 12 Course Titles:
Introduction to Philosophy