Academics » 9th - 12th Grade

9th - 12th Grade

Urban Discovery Academy takes an integrated, whole-child approach to learning. Our small-school setting and individualized approach to learning, where relationships are at the forefront of our work, help create a positive environment for learning and helps our students build self-confidence. To further support this whole-child, personalized learning approach, ongoing Design Challenges are embedded into the school curriculum on to allow our students to solve real world problems and connect more deliberately to the world around them. To culminate these community-based learning experiences, our families are invited to celebrate with us twice per year at our Exhibition Nights (celebrations of student learning). The high-engagement academic culture cultivates self-motivation, problem solving and innovation among our students. Our rich and multi-faceted approach to learning is supplemented with ongoing enrichment programming.

All high school students take CTE and College-Career coursework, including:
  • Advisory (every year)
  • Graphic Design I and II (9th/10th Grade)
  • Design Thinking/Entreneurship (11th/12th Grade) - UCSD transcript credits
  • Workplace Internship (11th Grade)
Other coursework and program pptions include:
  • Dual Enrollment in City College
  • ASB Student Leadership
  • Yearbook
  • Financial Literacy
  • RealityChangers (college prep program for 8th-12th grades on our school campus)
Scroll down for specific academic course of study information.
Meet the Urban Discovery Academy High School Team
Mathematics 9 - Math 1 is designed to combine the basic principles of Algebra, Geometry, and Statistics.  Students will deepen and extend their understanding of linear relationships, exponential functions, inequalities by modeling through data.  Students will collaboratively work to solve real world problems, think critically, and communicate their mathematical ideas clearly and concisely.  Students will explore operations on algebraic expressions, apply mathematical properties to algebraic equations, and problem solve using equations, graphs and tables and investigate linear and exponential models. Major topics include but are not limited to:
  • Univariate and Bivariate Statistics
  • Geometric Transformations and Congruence Theorems
  • Exponential Functions
  • Modeling with Functions

 

English Language Arts 9 - Using a variety of literature, this course will hone students’ comprehension and analysis of text. Students will determine the meaning of new words and use them accurately in their own writing and conversation. Students will explore the formal writing process to aid them in a variety of writing genres that will also serve as a foundation for oral presentations.  Student writing will appropriate English Conventions.  In addition, students will understand the value of multiple drafts, critique and feedback through this course in their writing, research and presentations. Major topics include but are not limited to:
  • Narrative Writing / Reading
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Poetry
  • Short Stories
  • Novels
 
Integrated Science 1 - Integrated Science 1 integrates biology, chemistry, and physics courses. This course presents all major sub-disciplines of science in a developmental progression that unfolds during three successive courses. The purpose of this model is to use disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), science and engineering practices (SEPs), and crosscutting concepts (CCCs) to coordinate and blend biology, chemistry, physics and geoscience into a unified science curriculum that promotes the development and application of reasoning skills and concepts within, between, and beyond traditional curricular boundaries; this is intended to promote the development of transferable reasoning skills that can be used throughout life. This model is designed to help students learn to apply the CCCs across traditional disciplinary lines to make sense of new learning. Although all models emphasize the use of CCCs, the Three-Year Model employs CCCs as the organizing principle.
 
World History - Modern World History will be taught through a global lens, this perspective complements the California Department of Education’s History and Social Sciences Framework. Projects and coursework will include world history, geography, politics, and economics. We also include for review the America’s development of democracy as well as citizenship. We develop hone skills, such as critical thinking skills, study skills and participation skills that help to create a foundation for good citizenship. Through analysis we will discuss the relevance and need for primary documents in research. Reading and writing are an important pillars of this course; we will read a wide variety of texts and write in a number of different formats and styles throughout the year. Major topics include but are not limited to:
  • Ancient Civilizations to the Renaissance
  • Revolutions
  • WWI and the Russian Revolution
  • WWII and After Effects
 

Design 2 - The Design 2 course focuses on curriculum that has an emphasis on the Visual Art, Media, and Entertainment standards.  Students will learn the elements of design and art techniques as they create products that inform, entertain, and educate audiences. Some of these standards include:

  • Apply artistic skills and processes to solve a variety of industry-relevant problems in a variety of traditional and electronic media.
  • Analyze, assess, and identify effectiveness of artistic products based on elements of art, the principles of design, and professional industry standards.
  • Acquire and accurately use Arts, Media, and Entertainment sector terminology and protocols at the career and college readiness level for communicating effectively in oral, written, and multimedia formats.
  • Use existing and emerging technology to investigate, research, and produce products and services, including new information, as required in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment sector workplace environment.
  • This course is designed to expose the student to the techniques needed to create beautiful design/artwork using computer software in a digital environment, or other materials as needed. The student will become familiar with Google Sites and industry standard software used in the advertising and visual arts. The student will become proficient with software such as Adobe Photoshop using the Chrome Extension,  and other software in order to enhance his or her design. He or she will create graphics and products while incorporating the principles and elements of design and Design Thinking. Students will produce and will be assessed on many projects that include creating an online digital portfolio or website where students will be able to showcase other work throughout the year.

 

Physical Education - At Urban Discovery Schools, Physical Education plays a vital role in providing students with a holistic approach to their education. Physical Education provides the opportunity to explore and promote mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Through physical activity, students learn to develop confidence, resilience, responsibility and how to work cooperatively with each other.

 

The Physical Education program at Urban Discovery Schools provides the skills and knowledge students will need to lead an active lifestyle. Students will learn about different movements and strategies, the importance of teamwork, and health related fitness. Our program focuses on the development of fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills in a variety of age-appropriate activities. In addition, our program provides students the opportunity to learn and practice appropriate social interactions. Through regular participation in physical activity, students also have the opportunity to develop their emotional and psychological skills.

Integrated Mathematics 2 - The topics in Math 2 will further develop students’ critical thinking abilities by utilizing complex math problems. Projects and discovery learning techniques will be combined with traditional teaching methodologies. Students will develop a deeper learning of numerical relationships and numbers by forming and strengthening their foundation of fundamental mathematical concepts. Students will gain a solid understanding of formulas and general equations. Problem solving skills and will be reinforced by practical application and meta cognition practices. By the completion of the course students will be proficiently skilled in manipulating and graphing a wide variety of equations from the exponential, logarithmic, basic linear and quadratic to trigonometric. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Probability
  • Quadratics
  • Irrational and Complex Numbers
  • Geometry

 

English 10 - English 10 continues the literary, written, and oral skill development from English I. Throughout the year, students and teacher alike will discuss, debate, research, and evaluate how the past 500 years have affected and shaped American policies and global issues today. As a symbiotic team, we will relate the humanities of the past: art, music, philosophy, literature, and historical events, to our current society and personas. This will be achieved through projects, readings, research, and writing. Students will read a variety of world literature, including fiction and non-fiction pieces as well as poetry, stories, and media writings. Drawing upon these sources, students will continue to develop their writing by focusing on coherent essay structures, such as literary analysis, expository compositions, and persuasive arguments. Also, students will continue to develop oral speaking skills and effective argumentation. In this manner students will develop a greater global understanding, cultural literacy, and self awareness.

 

Integrated Science 2 - Integrated Science 2 is a science course designed for high school students as a follow-up science course from Integrated Science 1. Covering basic concepts found in Physics, Astronomy, Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology, Health, and Scientific Measurement. Topics included in this study are: Inquiry and Measurement Astronomy Weather Bonds Organic Chemistry DNA and RNA The Human Body Health Throughout the course, students will have opportunities to observe simulations, investigate ideas, and solve problems–both on screen and away from the computer. The course seeks to help students expand their knowledge and skills so that they may achieve the following goals: Gain an understanding of foundational concepts in Earth Science, Astronomy, Biology and Chemistry. Make careful observations of the surrounding environment. Analyze problems and solutions scientifically. Appreciate the impact of science discovery on everyday life. Use their senses for observation of the world around them. Use Scientific Measurements and Tools Accurately. Graph Scientific Data Measure and Analyze Motion Understand the Gravitational relationships in the universe Understand and Predict the Weather Describe and Understand Chemical Bonds Identify the Molecules necessary for life Understand and Compare Chemical Processes for Life Understand the Importance of DNA and how it works Identify patterns of heredity and predict outcomes Identify major body systems Plan for Health Maintenance and Prevention.

 

World History - Modern World History will be taught through a global lens, this perspective complements the California Department of Education’s History and Social Sciences Framework. Projects and coursework will include world history, geography, politics, and economics. We also include for review the America’s development of democracy as well as citizenship. We develop hone skills, such as critical thinking skills, study skills and participation skills that help to create a foundation for good citizenship. Through analysis we will discuss the relevance and need for primary documents in research. Reading and writing are an important pillars of this course; we will read a wide variety of texts and write in a number of different formats and styles throughout the year.

 

Design 2 - The Design 2 course focuses on curriculum that has an emphasis on the Visual Art, Media, and Entertainment standards.  Students will learn the elements of design and art techniques as they create products that inform, entertain, and educate audiences. Some of these standards include:

  • Apply artistic skills and processes to solve a variety of industry-relevant problems in a variety of traditional and electronic media.
  • Analyze, assess, and identify effectiveness of artistic products based on elements of art, the principles of design, and professional industry standards.
  • Acquire and accurately use Arts, Media, and Entertainment sector terminology and protocols at the career and college readiness level for communicating effectively in oral, written, and multimedia formats.
  • Use existing and emerging technology to investigate, research, and produce products and services, including new information, as required in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment sector workplace environment.

 

This course is designed to expose the student to the techniques needed to create beautiful design/artwork using computer software in a digital environment, or other materials as needed. The student will become familiar with Google Sites and industry standard software used in the advertising and visual arts. The student will become proficient with software such as Adobe Photoshop using the Chrome Extension,  and other software in order to enhance his or her design. He or she will create graphics and products while incorporating the principles and elements of design and Design Thinking. Students will produce and will be assessed on many projects that include creating an online digital portfolio or website where students will be able to showcase other work throughout the year.

 
Spanish 2 - Spanish 2 is an interactive setting supporting students’ Spanish Language skills and development. It builds upon the fundamental and introductory Spanish language skills they acquired in Spanish 1. The language is presented within a context of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world and its culture. A main objective is that students will be able to speak about past activities using the conversational past tense. Students will learn in an interactive environment using games, songs, and exploration, through a variety of activities online, as well as interaction with their educator and classmates. Students will develop an appreciation of the Spanish language and culture through real-world projects. This includes conversational development on relatable and diverse topics such as histories, major holidays, and cultural celebrations.

 

Physical Education - At Urban Discovery Schools, Physical Education plays a vital role in providing students with a holistic approach to their education. Physical Education provides the opportunity to explore and promote mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Through physical activity, students learn to develop confidence, resilience, responsibility and how to work cooperatively with each other.

 

The Physical Education program at Urban Discovery Schools provides the skills and knowledge students will need to lead an active lifestyle. Students will learn about different movements and strategies, the importance of teamwork, and health related fitness. Our program focuses on the development of fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills in a variety of age-appropriate activities. In addition, our program provides students the opportunity to learn and practice appropriate social interactions. Through regular participation in physical activity, students also have the opportunity to develop their emotional and psychological skills.

Integrated Mathematics 3 – In Math 3 student will develop their understanding of functions as relationships and as modeling tools. By exploring different kind of functions, parent functions and the different ways to analyze a function students will grow competent in transforming functions and, extracting information from functions and building functions to model real-life situations in a way that helps them come to conclusions from the function. Students will develop their graphing skills on paper and computer and will engage in reading graphs and writing graphs as practices that encourage critical thinking and problem-solving. By the completion of the course students will be able to analyze and use functions and relationship as they are represented on a coordinate plane, including polynomials, rational, radical, logarithmic, trigonometric and conic relationships. Students will develop a higher level of fluency in manipulating equations and solving them as part of the function analysis process and will model those function in unit projects and design challenges. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Polynomial and Rational Functions
  • Exponential Radical and Logarithmic Functions
  • Data Analysis
  • Trigonometry and Trigonometry Functions
  • Conics
 

English 11 -Students explore the study of American literature Pre-colonial to Postmodern. Activities in each unit connect reading, writing, oral communication and language study, which includes grammar, usage, and standard forms of American English. This survey course will include the following time periods and literary genres:

  • Pre-colonial and Native American Period
  • Colonial period
  • Revolutionary period
  • Romanticism and Transcendentalism
  • Realism
  • Modernism
  • Post Modernism

Each period and/or genre will contain representative authors and literature which will expose students to the breadth and of the era. Students will learn the defining characteristics of each and how historical events and literary movements influenced and defined one another.

 

Chemistry - Foundational knowledge of Chemistry will be taught in this introductory level course. California State Standards topics will be taught through in-depth explorations into the real-world applications of chemistry. Critical thinking skills and problem solving will be further developed through application and exploration. Chemistry concepts will be introduced and explored through the utilization of projects and practical application. This course, while an introduction to chemistry fundamentals for those who will pursue additional science courses; is a foundational chemistry course for all students. Major topics include but are not limited to:

  • Atoms, Elements and the Periodic Tables
  • Ions, Ionic and Covalent Bonds and Polarity
  • Chemical Reactions, Balancing Equations and Stoichiometry
  • Gas Laws: Charles Law, Boyle's Law, Ideal Gas Law
  • Acids, Bases, Solutions and Molarity
  • Chemical Thermodynamics, Equilibrium, Reaction Rates
 

United States History - This course is designed for 11th grade students to develop an understanding of the important turning points that have shaped the culture and history of the United States. This course is structured to provide students with an in-depth narrative of the political, social, cultural, and economic developments that have changed the landscape of the country. In addition to the inclusion of the California State Standards for U.S. History, students will examine social issues from a variety of time periods in order to develop an understanding of the ideas and events that have shaped society in the United States. In order to succeed in this class, students will be required to participate in discussions, analyze primary and secondary sources, and think critically about the cause and effect of the events and issues that have impacted the development of the United States.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to :

  • Demonstrate comprehension of a broad body of historical knowledge.
  • Express ideas clearly and effectively in writing.
  • Work independently and as a part of a group to research an historical issue.
  • Interpret and apply data from original documents.
  • Identify underrepresented historical viewpoints.
  • Use evidence from a variety of sources to support an argument.
  • Compare and contrast alternate interpretations of an historical figure, event, or trend.
  • Explain how an historical event connects to or causes a larger trend or theme.
  • Develop essay responses that include a clear, defensible thesis statement and supporting evidence.
  • Effectively argue a position on an historical issue.
  • Critique and respond to arguments made by others.
  • Raise and explore questions about policies, institutions, beliefs, and actions in an historical context.
  • Evaluate primary materials, such as historical documents, political cartoons, and first-person narratives.
  • Evaluate secondary materials, such as scholarly works or statistical analysis.

  

Design Thinking Methodology 1 - This course is based on the Design Thinking theory developed at Stanford’s d.lab. Design Thinking is a continual process that revolves around human-centered design. This course specifically deals with a combination of lectures, activities, weekly design challenges, and quarterly projects. Within each unit, students will learn about the process of thinking, develop design skills, utilize design programs, and work towards a class-wide project each semester. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Introduction to Design Thinking
  • History of Design Thinking
  • Thinking and Acting Today
  • Semester One Final Project
  • Internship
  • Centering the Human

 

Spanish 3 - The Spanish 3 course is for students to build upon target language skills in the areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students further develop vocabulary skills through oral and written exercises and through the application of  vocabulary to create sentences and short paragraphs in written and oral form. Students gain listening and speaking skills through the use of online activities, audio and video resources, and personal interactions with teacher and peers during class and through online projects This includes conversational development in familiar topics and stories, major holidays and cultural celebrations, as well as understanding and responding to commands and questions.

 

Physical Education - At Urban Discovery Schools, Physical Education plays a vital role in providing students with a holistic approach to their education. Physical Education provides the opportunity to explore and promote mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Through physical activity, students learn to develop confidence, resilience, responsibility and how to work cooperatively with each other.

 

The Physical Education program at Urban Discovery Schools provides the skills and knowledge students will need to lead an active lifestyle. Students will learn about different movements and strategies, the importance of teamwork, and health related fitness. Our program focuses on the development of fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills in a variety of age-appropriate activities. In addition, our program provides students the opportunity to learn and practice appropriate social interactions. Through regular participation in physical activity, students also have the opportunity to develop their emotional and psychological skills.

Statistics - The statistics course will expose students to life as social science researchers and applied math professionals. Students will learn and use statistical and probabilistic analytics tools to look at data sets, understand them, create them, critique them and learn from them. Students will learn how to calculate measures of a data set and how to program calculations of larger data sets using technology. Students will finish the class ready for a college level statistics class.
 
English 12 - This English course focuses on furthering student’s writing and comprehension skills through vocabulary enhancement, critical analysis, and rhetorical techniques. Students will generally be enrolled in Government and Design Thinking Methodology II, which serve as collaborative courses for interdisciplinary study. This course is a blend of Great Books curriculum and design thinking practices. Additionally, this course will be utilized to expand topics discussed in Advisory period, which is a daily, small-group class that focuses on college and career readiness. Each unit has content-specific assignments, and students have the additional following expectations:
  • Word of the day
  • Current event SOAPSTone activity (3 times per week)
  • Weekly vocabulary quizzes
  • Weekly timed writing responses
  • Weekly reading logs and dialectical journals
  • Presentation of learning via school-wide exhibition (3 times per year)
 

Environmental Science - Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary course that uses the principles of biology, ecology, ocean & atmospheric science, chemistry, geology, physics, geography, economics, political science, and ethics to understand and propose solutions for complex environmental issues. After introductory units on sustainability, geology, matter, energy, geochemical cycling and ecology, students will pursue a brief survey of the variety of topics that can be explored and then identify the the specific topics the class will study.  This provides student ownership of the curriculum as well as pinpoints the areas of greatest relevance and interest to them. Bringing these disciplines together and making connections between them can be challenging, but also makes the course especially meaningful and relevant. The goals of the course are to (1) provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships in the natural world, (2) identify and analyze environmental problems or challenges, (3) to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, (4) to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing these problems, and (5) develop the habits and skills which support student agency with respect to independent learning, resilience, and accountability.

 

Government - Students will apply knowledge gained in previous years of study to pursue a deeper understanding of American government. Students will consider the role of and necessity for government as they think about how much power should government have over its citizens, and how government can attain goals sanctioned by the majority while protecting its citizens from the abuse of power. They will review and expand their knowledge of the key elements of a representative form of democracy, such as the idea that the authority to govern resides in its citizens. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Civic Engagement for Changemakers
  • The Origins of Democracy
  • Principles of Citizenship
  • The Structure of Government
 

Design Thinking Methodology 2 - This course follows Design Thinking Methodology I. As a baseline, students should understand the design thinking model, basic design skills, and the design thinking process as a practice. Design Thinking Methodology II focuses on student’s development in design thinking as a mindset and orientation towards working on complex socio-technical problems and issues. Throughout the course, students will be developing their capstone project which will be a product, program, or process that will solve a specific problem of their choosing.

 

Spanish 4 - Spanish 4 helps students build upon target language skills in the areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Students further develop vocabulary skills through oral and written exercises and through the application of learned vocabulary to create sentences and paragraphs in written and oral form. Students gain listening and speaking skills through online activities, audio and video resources, and through personal interactions with teacher and classmates during online, synchronous sessions. This includes conversational development of familiar and contemporary topics, historical and cultural products, challenges facing the global community, and making plans for the future.

 

Physical Education - At Urban Discovery Schools, Physical Education plays a vital role in providing students with a holistic approach to their education. Physical Education provides the opportunity to explore and promote mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Through physical activity, students learn to develop confidence, resilience, responsibility and how to work cooperatively with each other.

 

The Physical Education program at Urban Discovery Schools provides the skills and knowledge students will need to lead an active lifestyle. Students will learn about different movements and strategies, the importance of teamwork, and health related fitness. Our program focuses on the development of fundamental locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills in a variety of age-appropriate activities. In addition, our program provides students the opportunity to learn and practice appropriate social interactions. Through regular participation in physical activity, students also have the opportunity to develop their emotional and psychological skills.