​ACADEMICS-UPPER SCHOOL

Spring Valley School Graduation Requirements

Spring Valley follows the Alabama Education Agency’s recommendations for high school curricular programs. 

Twenty-four credits are required for the regular high school diploma.
        English………………………………………………………….... 4 credits
        Math……………………………………………………………...  4 credits
        Social Studies…………………………………………………. 4 credits
        Science…………………………………………………………... 4 credits
        Health……………………………………………………………. 0.5 credit
        Physical Education…………………………………………..1.0 credit
        Career Preparedness……………………………………….1.0 credit
        Career/Technical Ed./Foreign Language/Arts Ed.3 credits
        Electives ………………………………………………………....2.5 credits 

Advanced high school diploma requires 24 credits including the following courses: 
        English………………………………………………………….....4 credits
        Math…………………………………………………………….....4 credits*
        Social Studies……………………………………………….....4 credits
        Science…………………………………………………………....4 credits
        Health…………………………………………..………………...0.5 credit
        Physical Education……………………………………........1.0 credit
        Career Education…………………………….…………......1.0 credit
        Foreign Language……………………………….…...........2.0 credits
        Electives ……………………………………………………......3.5 credits 
*Math credits must include at least Algebra I, Algebra II with Trigonometry, and Geometry.

Dual Enrollment with Jefferson State Community College

Spring Valley supports students in taking community college credits off campus at Jefferson State Community College.  According to the contract with Jeff State, one unit of college credit will only count for .5 high school credit.  Courses are limited to those that are transferable.  Grades obtained through the Community College are not calculated into Spring Valley’s GPA.  Students are responsible for application and registration of courses.  Enrolled students must pay their college tuition as required. For more information, go to Dual Enrollment at www.jeffstateonline.com.

 

Dual Enrollment with Lawson State Community College

This program allows qualified students from Spring Valley School to earn dual credits for a high school diploma and/or a postsecondary degree.  Grades obtained through the Community College are not calculated into Spring Valley’s GPA.  Students are responsible for making application, registering for classes and paying tuition. For more information, go to Dual Enrollment at www.lawsonstate.edu/Admissions.

Calculation of Course Credit

Students receive credit for courses with a grade of 60% or better.  If the course is a two-semester sequence, the second semester grades are averaged for the yearly final grade.  If the student fails one semester of a two-semester course, he/she will receive one credit if the yearly average is above 60%.

Grade Point Average

The GPA (Grade Point Average) is based on a 4.0 grading scale.  It is calculated by averaging the grades of all academic and elective classes with the exception of Teacher Assistant, Math Lab and any study hall.  Grades awarded through a community college are not averaged into the GPA.


                Grades of  100 – 90…….....4 points
                Grades of    89 – 80……….3 points
                Grades of    79 – 70……….2 points
                Grades of    69 – 60……….1 point

Student Exam Exemptions

Upper School Students that have maintained a semester average of 90 or above may be exempted from the semester exam with the approval of the instructor. Students with ten (10) or more absences may not be exempt from exams regardless of their GPA.

Spring Valley School Course Description Guide

The course descriptions enable students and parents to gain a better understanding of the courses offered at the school.

The contents of this guide are not contractual and do not give rise to a claim of breach of contract against Spring Valley School.  Further, the contents of this guide apply to all students of the upper school as the contents now appear or may be amended in the future.  All class offerings are contingent on minimum enrollment requirements and budget.

English

The study of the English language is designed to foster strong, independent active readers, to enable students to speak and write correctly, and to develop an appreciation for literature. A summer reading list is provided for each grade, and students will be tested on summer reading at the beginning of each school year.

English I

(two semesters, 1 credit) 
This course provides the student with a survey of world literature through its many genres: short story, novel, poetry, essay and drama. Applied research is taught as well as a review of grammar, usage, and mechanics. A focus is given to developing the writer's "voice." Weekly vocabulary units are geared towards preparing students for SAT and ACT tests.

 

English II    American Literature 1

(two semesters, 1 credit)
This course offers the student a survey of American literature to 1900. The course also includes vocabulary enrichment, composition strategies and practice, applied research, and a review of grammar, usage, and mechanics. The objective of this course is to expand the student's understanding of literature and to continually build on the foundations of writing established in previous grades. Weekly vocabulary units are geared towards preparing students for SAT and ACT tests.

English III    American Literature 2

(two semesters, 1 credit)
This course focuses on American literature since 1900, providing insight into more contemporary issues. Writing assignments of varying length and topics are a critical part of this course. This course will review composition strategies with practice, applied research and will include vocabulary enrichment. The student will be on a course to write well for college.


English IV     British Literature
(two semesters, 1 credit)
This course focuses on a variety of British authors from different time periods. The goal of this course is to further develop active readers, critical thinkers, and articulate writers capable of meeting collegiate demands in language, writing, and literature.


Academic Writing I

(one semester, 0.5 credits) 
This one-semester course provides basic practice in research and writing fluency necessary for academic success. Students will build on skills learned in their English classes and complete various writing projects to improve grammar, mechanics, topic analysis, and paragraph development in writing Students will also gain competence in using MLA guidelines for writing research papers and enhance their keyboarding skills. A workshop setting is provided to allow students to develop and improve on their assigned research paper for their English class.

 

Academic Writing II 

Prerequisite: Academic Writing I or teacher's permission 
This one-semester course will build on skills learned in Academic Writing I. Students will continue their in-depth examination of and practice in writing (grammar, mechanics, research, etc.) Using MLA guidelines, each student will write a major research paper (5-7 pages) for their English class.

Senior Thesis

Prerequisite: Academic Writing II or teacher's permission 
This one-semester course will allow the student to develop a topic of interest from one of their academic courses and develop it through the research and writing of a major paper at least 12 pages in length. They will present their papers in a panel discussion during the final week of class.

Mathematics
Algebra I 

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Algebra I includes but is not limited to coordinate graphing, algebraic analysis, equation solving, operations with polynomials, and factoring. 

 
Algebra II

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Prerequisite:  Algebra I or Algebra IA and Algebra IB. 
Algebra II extends the student’s algebraic knowledge and skills.  

 

Algebra II with Trigonometry

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Prerequisite: Algebra I or Algebra IA and IB 
Algebra II with Trigonometry is required for all students seeking the Advanced Diploma.  The course will focus on complex numbers, functions, quadratic functions, systems of linear equations. 

 

Geometry 

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Prerequisite: Algebra I or Algebra IA and IB 
Geometry presents a logical development of the basic concepts and understanding of Euclidean geometry. Included in this course are topics from plane geometry, solid geometry, and coordinate geometry. This course focuses on the study of plane and space figures. 

 

Advanced Geometry 

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Prerequisite: Algebra I and teacher's permission 

 

Math Applications 

(two semesters, 1 credit) 
This course will focus on real life applications of mathematics such as problem solving, estimations, measurements, graph charts, dealing with data, angles, shape, ratios, and proportion.
 

Math Lab

(one semester, 0.5 credit)
Individualized program designed to advance math skills.

Science

Science classes emphasize understanding and developing a foundation for using scientific knowledge and processes.  All science courses are laboratory-based and address the scientific process. 

Biology

(two semesters, 1 credit) 
Biology introduces students to the vast diversity of organisms and the characteristics that define life. Units include cells, interdependence, genetics, and evolution.   
 

Integrated Physics and Chemistry 

(two semesters, 1 credit) 
This is an introductory course of chemistry and physics. It develops an awareness of the natural principles in the everyday world.


Environmental Science

 (two semesters, 1 credit) 
Many important decisions that affect our daily lives depend on an understanding of how Earth works and humanity's impact on the environment. The Environmental Science course will explore Earth's physical environment and geological processes, as well as the interactions of living things with the environment.
 

Forensic Science

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Forensic Science focuses on the analysis of evidence collection, the decomposition process, crime scenes, skeletal remains, toxicology, and document validity.  
 

Chemistry

(two semesters, 1 credit)
Chemistry is a laboratory-based class that encourages the use of basic chemical concepts and scientific strategies. 

Social Studies

World History Since 1500 
(two semesters, 1 Credit) 
This course explores historical development from 1500 to the present, concentrating on the personalities, the ideas and events that have shaped the modern era in Europe, the Western world, Africa and Asia.

 

U.S. History, Beginnings to 1900 

(two semesters, 1 Credit) 
This is the first half of a comprehensive two-year study of American history and geography. Students cover the historical development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration and Discovery to the turn of the century.
 

U.S. History, 1900 to the Present 

(two semesters, 1 Credit) 
This course focuses on twentieth century America and beyond. While focusing on political and economic his- tory, students will examine American culture through a chronological survey of major issues, movements, people and events in United States and Alabama history.

American Government/Economics

(two semesters, 1 Credit) 
This course is devoted to the study of the levels and functions of government in the United States. A basic understanding of macro/micro economics is also studied.

Spanish
Spanish I 

(two or four semesters, 1 Credit)
Prerequisite: Reading remediation completed 
This introductory course presents the phrases, vocabulary, and basic grammar needed for simple conversational Spanish. Group and paired activities are used on a regular basis for practice and reinforcement of skills. Students will also learn about the civilization and culture of the Hispanic countries. 

 

Spanish II 

(two or four semesters, 1 Credit)
Prerequisite: Spanish I 
Spanish II builds on the grammatical foundation acquired in Spanish I. Students will learn additional verb tenses and increase their vocabulary. Students will continue to develop their listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills. The study of Hispanic culture is a component of the course.
 

Spanish III 

(two semesters, 1 Credit)
Prerequisite: Spanish II 
In addition to presenting further contextualized vocabulary and expressions, level-three Spanish introduces several more advanced grammatical forms. Class will be conducted primarily in the language.

The Arts
Art 

(one semester, 0.5 credit) 
This introductory course is designed to teach the elements and principles of art while focusing on the fundamentals of perspective drawing, figure drawing, painting and sculpture. Students learn to view art critically.

Reader's Theater

(one semester, 0.5 Credit)
This one semester course, open to all high school students, is a fusion of acting, interpretation and rhetoric. Students will examine the multitude of ways to approach the group presentation of literature through drama. Students will learn how to analyze dramatic texts and present them in simple or more complicated ways. Students will also have the opportunity to write or compile their own scripts and perform them in a group format with their classmates.

Speech

(one semester, 0.5 Credit)
This basic speech class is a traditional introduction to public address and interpersonal communication. The class focuses on the fundamentals of public speaking, interviewing, group discussion, and leadership skills.

Physical Eduation
Physical Education

(two semesters, 1 Credit) 
This course provides students with the opportunity to develop an individual level of fitness, acquire knowledge of fitness concepts, and understand the significance of a healthy lifestyle.

Health Education

(one semester, 0.5 Credit) 
This semester course is designed to include recent and reliable information on the promotion of wellness, the reduction of health risks, the prevention of disease, and the management of health problems. Health-related topics include CPR, first-aid and emergency care, personal fitness, nutrition and weight control, substance abuse, disease control, family relationships, values, self-concept, emotional growth, and consumer awareness.

Computers
Computer Applications 

(one semester, 0.5 Credit) 
This semester course teaches students to key by touch and to create personal and business documents using the computer. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access) is used in formatting personal and business applications. This course provides students with the basic concepts and skills regarding knowledge of computer operations while utilizing computers as technology productivity, too.

Reading
Alphabetic Phonics I 

(two semesters, 1 Credit)

Prerequisite: Referral from administration 
The Alphabetic Phonics Reading Program is a multi-sensory, structured language approach based on the Orton Gillingham Method.
 

Alphabetic Phonics II 

(two semesters, 1 Credit)
Prerequisite: Alphabetic Phonics I 
This course continues the development of reading skills.

Wilson Reading System 

(two semesters, 1 Credit)
Prerequisite: Referral from administration 
The Wilson Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham based reading curriculum for decoding and spelling.

Study Skills
Study Skills I 

(semester, 0.5 Credits) 
This course teaches skills that make for successful students such as: test taking skills, the SQ3R method, and organizational skills. Students are also encouraged to use this time to seek added support in curricular areas of need.

Driver Education
Driver Education 

(semester, 0.5 Credits) 
Driver Education can be provided by Red Mountain Driving School. This class will prepare students to take the Alabama Driver test. Classes will be held on campus, but parents must contract with the Driving School.)

2701 Sydney Drive - Birmingham, Alabama 35211

info@springvalleyschool.org

(205) 423-8662 fax

(205) 423-8660