Sugar Bowl Academy's Academic Program
Sugar Bowl Academy provides a rigorous academic experience for students who wish to pursue Alpine, Nordic and Free-skiing at the highest competitive levels. Therefore, SBA's daily and yearly academic schedules are designed around the unique needs of skiers. All courses in SBA's curriculum are college-preparatory in nature. They are ambitious in content and method, and require significant student involvement outside of class.
Departmental Programs and Course Descriptions
The Sugar Bowl Academy English curriculum is designed to introduce students to a range of literary traditions and genres, to teach students to communicate effectively, read analytically, and think critically, to inspire a life-long appreciation for literature, reading, and writing, and to nurture students' individual growth as writers, readers, and thinkers. Through exposure and interaction with a multiplicity of literary genres and themes, students in the Sugar Bowl Academy English program gain a solid grounding in the historical development of literature while developing their writing and critical thinking skills. The curriculum is designed around specific literary periods in English, American, and world history to provide students a lens through which to interpret the novels, poetry, short stories, and drama that have shaped literary culture. In each Sugar Bowl Academy English class, students are immersed in a rigorous academic environment in which students are challenged to expand their literary horizons through extensive reading, writing, and discussion.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
This course is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the fundamentals of Standard English grammar and composition. Additionally, students work to strengthen their reading and comprehension skills, and to make real world connections with course content.
A primary focus of this course is to reinforce the fundamentals of Standard English grammar and composition. This course is designed to examine the early development of literature and reasons cultures develop bodies of literature. Students examine classical works of ancient writers who helped shape ancient (and therefore contemporary) cultures through time-tested literary works. Students are immersed in the mythology, folklore, drama, and epic poetry that have influenced cultures throughout history.
This course highlights the literature produced in Britain and the British Isles from the time of the Elizabethans to contemporary British literature. The main goals of the class are to enhance students' appreciation for literature and to build students' reading comprehension, critical analysis, and writing skills. Works analyzed embrace elements from the Gothic, Victorian, and Romantic time periods. In addition to careful reading of the texts, students also study the larger cultural and philosophical contexts of the literature.
This course is designed to look critically at the development of American Literature. The work of culturally prominent and lesser-known literary authors is studied to draw connections between important historical time periods and literary movements that have shaped the current American identity. To name a few, we’ll look at writing by Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neill Hurston, John Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, and many others. Our pursuit is to develop the critical reading, writing, and inquiry skills needed to answer the overall Essential Questions: What defines American Literature? What role does literature have in shaping a culture? Each trimester will contain sub-essential questions as related to the material presented in an attempt to answer these larger questions while focusing on specific skills. Topical elements include Puritan American and the Age of Faith, Revolutionary America, Transcendentalism and the American Renaissance, The Harlem Renaissance and Women’s Movement, and Contemporary America.
This year-long course explores the outliers of the Western World's literary canon - those writers who have written in different languages, about previously ignored peoples, or from a completely seperate literary tradition. Selected works span centuries and genres, so students should expect to encounter dense, unfamiliar, or perhaps even antiquated language.The aim of this course is to examine literature unfamiliar to us in its own context, as well as examine assumed truisms about literature and the written word.
This year-long course teaches entry-level college writing and reading skills through an examination of non-fiction prose from the U.K., the U.S., and beyond. Selected works span centuries and genres, so students should expect to encounter dense, unfamiliar, or perhaps even antiquated language. The course is centered around arguments–what they are, and how to understand, evaluate, and create them–which means students are expected to become effective rhetorical readers, writers, and speakers. To that end, the course examines elements of persuasion, eloquence, logic, and debate.
In this fall trimester elective, students learn how to capture the world on paper and film. Students start with small non-fiction assignments, and work towards larger group projects, such as SBA's Fall Newsletter. As members of the Journalism class, students will also be eligible to fill leadership roles on the Yearbook staff.
The Sugar Bowl Academy Mathematics curriculum is designed to equip students to make connections between mathematical ideas, as well as between mathematics and other disciplines. It is the goal of the department to foster students' curiosity and to prepare them to apply mathematical concepts to everyday life. Students are expected to develop fluency in basic computational skills and concepts. Over time, they become mathematical problem solvers who can recognize and solve routine problems and find ways to reach a solution when no path is apparent. While using appropriate technological assistance, students gather and analyze data, form hypotheses, and present results. Throughout the curriculum, students practice various methods of communicating mathematical ideas including verbal, graphical, numerical, and algebraic. Upon graduation, students will be prepared not only to perform real-world mathematical calculations, but also to pursue mathematics at a collegiate level.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
In this introductory math course, students expand their math knowledge studying basic algebraic concepts that are continued from middle school mathematics. Students master the properties and operations of real numbers (including polynomials); solving and graphing equations and inequalities (with emphasis on linear equations); factoring; and working with radicals and rational expressions. Students learn the importance of using algebra as the basic language for science, using algebra in everyday life, and problem solving skills. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to move onto Geometry or Algebra II.
This course is a comprehensive study of the figures and spatial relationships that students have studied for their entire academic career. Now in high school, we formalize the knowledge surrounding points, lines, planes, angles and figures such as triangles, polygons, circles and spheres. Students develop a knowledge base of logical reasons which they learn to present in a new, linear fashion as they become comfortable with proofs. As communication skills improve, students become fluent in presenting complex geometric ideas outside of rigid proof and are able to transfer these skills throughout their mathematical career and beyond. Students learn the properties of right triangles, trigonometry and the Pythagorean Theorem. Foundations of complex figures (circles, spheres, cones, pyramids, cylinders, etc.) round out the experience in this course.
In this course, function notation is introduced and used to explore several different figures (mostly conic sections) in the coordinate plane. We also introduce logarithmic form and its relationship to exponents, reinforce basic probability skills, solve complex systems of equations and analyze sequences and series in numbers. Each of these topics is taught using examples of real world applications of math skills and is taught in a fashion that allows students to uncover many of the patterns and processes in math through exploration. As students navigate their education in the mathematics, this course provides the bridge to understanding the foundations of calculus and the dynamic figures and functions explored therein.
This class prepares students with the tools necessary for success in First-Year Calculus. Course material includes polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, vectors, and rectangular and polar coordinates. Although wrote memorization is important, particular emphasis is placed upon understanding of underlying concepts. Use of graphing calculators is emphasized throughout the year.
This course is an introductory statistics class. Students learn to describe and quantify patterns in data, plan and conduct studies, explore random phenomena using probability and simulation, estimate population parameters, and test hypotheses. Emphasis is placed upon the use of technology (graphing calculators/computers) and real-world examples. Students apply statistical concepts to a variety of contexts and become more critical observers of statistics in everyday life.
This course is designed to prepare students for the Calculus AB Advanced Placement Exam and is equivalent to a first-year college course. Topics covered include all material as listed in the AP Calculus Course Description, with particular emphasis upon recurring concepts that appear in different contexts throughout the year (the Chain Rule, for example). Underlying concepts, rather than simple rote memorization of formulas, are stressed, for a student's ability to understand the "big picture" is as important as the mechanical processing that goes into formula substitution. While the primary goal of this course is success on the AP exam, concepts from prior math courses are continually reinforced.
The Sugar Bowl Academy Science curriculum is designed to expose students to core disciplines in science as well as pursue interests through specialized electives. The primary objective of the Department is to equip students with the tools needed to critically examine our natural world and analyze current scientific and social issues. Students engage in a hands-on approach to learning through lab-based courses that integrate our unique surroundings. In concert with experiential learning, students learn to ask questions and analyze content through lecture. Cross-curricular use of the Scientific Method develops a platform for analyzing difficult questions and problems, and provides a framework that prepares students to apply rational, critical-thinking skills to everyday life and in a collegiate science environment.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
In this introductory science course, students explore and expand their scientific knowledge by studying topics in chemistry, physics, earth, and space science. Basic algebraic math skills and scientific history are integrated into each section. Through demonstrations, discussions, and laboratory activities, students gain an understanding of how the world works. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to move onto Biology and have a solid background in chemistry and physics topics.
Biology is the study of life; a unifying and simple statement which guides the high school biology course offering at Sugar Bowl Academy. This course is designed to expose students to many broad and disparate topics in biology while maintaining the interdependence of these themes. Units are organized so that each supports the next and builds upon it hierarchically. Each unit is supported by several labs, small activities, and case studies each of which reveal the practical applications beyond lecture material and help students hone their physical lab techniques, as well as their analytical, writing, and speaking skills. As biology is the study of life, the course is designed with constant reminders that we are studying actual living things. We use the stories behind each biologic phenomenon to reinforce and build interest in the sciences and leave students with the desire to keep exploring the subject area.
This is an introductory course in the theories and concepts of chemistry. We focus on the properties of matter, atomic structure, periodic properties, ions, molecules and bonding, molecular/ionic naming, chemical reactions, acid-base reactions, and oxidation reduction reactions. Students are introduced to Stoichiometry, quantum mechanics, dimensional analysis and carbon compounds. A laboratory component to chemistry teaches students basic lab techniques while reinforcing chemical principles, revealing connections in the course content and providing for a spark of interest in the student. A student leaving this course should have a basic understanding of the interconnected nature of matter, a solid mathematical foundation to build forward and a sense of curiosity regarding more advanced topics.
This is an introductory course in the foundations of physics covering the topics of mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, wave phenomena, and electromagnetism. Emphasis is on the development of an intuitive understanding of physics principles as well as problem solving with the use of mathematics and the integration of technology. Laboratory work helps students develop reasoning power and the ability to apply physics principles while acquainting them with sound laboratory technique.
Medical Microbiology is an advanced biology course used to introduce topics of human disease. Students learn specific molecular characteristics, history, current research, and future outlooks for bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases. Students learn how these diseases affect the global community through primary sources, popular literature, discussions, and research projects. Classroom activities expose students to technical lab competence and scientific research methods.
This course allows students to understand and gain competence in the application of basic astronomical concepts and methods. Students learn about the scale, measurement, and age of the universe, as well as the formation and evolution of stars, planets, and galaxies. Most importantly, students learn to "navigate the sky" with both the naked eye and telescope while gaining an appreciation of our place in the cosmos.
The History Department at Sugar Bowl Academy adheres to the mission of teaching students to use their minds well. A primary objective of the History Department is to equip students with the tools needed to critically examine our past and to participate as citizens in a democratic society. SBA History students have the opportunity to succeed in the analysis of complex historical sources, to become more sophisticated independent thinkers, and to depart with a well-rounded background in Economics, Geography, History and Political Science. In short, there is not an explicit effort on the part of the Department to address the minutiae left between isolated subject matter. Transitions are obviously necessary for the sake of clarity but the department has made an effort to privilege depth of coverage over breadth believing that superficial coverage of each "chapter" is not necessary for academic growth. The History Department seeks out and takes advantage of cross-curricular bridges to connect with other academic disciplines to provide SBA students a deeper, more authentic understanding of phenomena and reasoning why cultures have developed as they have.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
This year-long course is designed to introduce students to the foundations of American History through an examination of how past ideas and events shape the present. After reviewing the development of America's democratic institutions founded on Judeo-Christian heritage and English parliamentary traditions, particularly the shaping of the Constitution, students trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences. They learn about the challenges facing the new nation, with an emphasis on the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. Additionally, students gain a greater understanding of the American culture and the role of the U.S. Constitution in protecting individual rights, while they develop critical thinking skills and learn to express themselves orally and in writing.
Modern European History looks at the development of Europe from the Renaissance into the 20th Century. Balanced attention is given to the necessary historical timeline, notable economic developments, and cultural milestones. Moreover, European social and political developments are examined in seeking answers to questions such as, "Does class structure facilitate nation building?" and "Are theocracies viable alternatives to democratic institutions?" Students learn from primary source documents and artwork, as well as a textbook. The academic skill of historical writing and the fundamentals of academic research are central to the course. Students learn the necessity of properly citing researched information and the effective use of explanatory footnotes.
This course is designed to introduce and revisit central events in our nation's history. While we focus on studying pivotal episodes, common themes like race, economics, and international relations serve to connect disparate experiences from a cross section of Americans. In addition, we examine structures and issues in contemporary American society throughout the course as they relate to the ideas, assumptions, and actions of our nation's founders. This course begins with European exploration of the Americas and early colonization in the 1600s and concludes with the major themes and events of the 20th Century. A core ambition of this course is to equip Sugar Bowl Academy students with the tools needed to critically examine our past and to participate as informed citizens in a democratic society. Teaching students the academic skill of identifying and using primary sources in historical writing is a major focus of the course.
The course begins by seeking to understand the nature of globalization. By analyzing the fall of the Berlin Wall as a pivotal moment in history and a catalyst for moving the world from the Cold War Era into the Global Era, students learn to value this moment as a natural springboard for looking carefully at the evolving interconnectedness in today's geography and modern world marketplace. Sugar Bowl Academy students learn about the IMF and World Bank, also including the essentials of Micro and Macro Economics. Moreover, considerable attention is paid to the European Union, NAFTA, and developing nations including Brazil, China, India, Russia and Turkey.
Why should I care about what is happening in the Middle East? Where is the Middle East? Why is oil such a big deal? What characteristics define the Middle East? Are all places, countries and people in the Middle East pretty much the same? The region of the Middle East has proved to be increasingly important to the United States over the past several decades, yet many Americans have more questions than answers about the region. This course in designed to be an introduction to the study of the geography, religion, politics, and culture found in today's Middle East.
The course begins by seeking to understand the nature of globalization. By analyzing the fall of the Berlin Wall as a pivotal moment in history and a catalyst for moving the world from the Cold War Era into the Global Era, students learn to value this moment as a natural springboard for looking carefully at the evolving interconnectedness in today's geography and modern world marketplace. Sugar Bowl Academy students learn about the IMF and World Bank, also including the essentials of Micro and Macro Economics. Moreover, considerable attention is paid to the European Union, NAFTA, and developing nations including Brazil, China, India and Turkey.
AP Human Geography prepares students for the AP Exam. Human geography is one of the two major divisions of geography. The purpose of the AP course in Human Geography is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth's surface. The course adheres closely to the scope and sequence specified by the College Board. Topics covered include the geography of language and religion, migration and population patterns, land use, and how to use and think critically about maps and spatial data.
The Foreign Film elective at Sugar Bowl Academy is designed to offer students a chance to experience a diverse sampling of films from around the world. A primary goal of this class is to foster an appreciation for foreign film and build an understanding that brilliant artists produce powerful films outside of Southern California. The films selected explore the world's cultural geography. All of the selections are international award winners and are worthy of both viewing and discussion.
Is cheating ok? Should cell phones be banned in schools? Should our society jail athletes for violent acts committed during athletic contests? Is torture ever justified? The Looking for an Argument course is team taught in conjunction with the English Department. The ideas for this class are adapted from a course developed at the Urban Academy Laboratory High School in New York City. This dynamic course exposes SBA students to a variety of contemporary issues while also providing intensive practice in debate, note taking, highlighting, outlining, and timed essay writing. The Looking for an Argument course promotes the idea that intelligent discussion is a vital component of decision making.
The term "genocide" did not exist before 1944. It is defined as the systematic extermination of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. Sadly, genocide continues today. This course carefully examines instances of genocide that have taken place in the 20th century and continue to take place today in the 21st century. Several overarching questions serve to guide the course: Why has genocide occurred? Who has been targeted? How does the world allow genocide to continue to happen? Are there warning signs? Can the international community ever honestly say, "never again"?
The Foreign Language curriculum at Sugar Bowl Academy prepares students to become culturally sensitive and communicate competently in the Spanish language. The Spanish curriculum is designed to introduce and challenge students with a range of Spanish language components including; written, conversational, lexical, aural, and cultural studies, along with the development of an authentic accent. Proficiency and advancement in both spoken and written language is developed through conversation, reading, group and individual projects, and presentations. The comprehensive curriculum offers students an invaluable perspective into their native language and global vision of the world.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
This Spanish course introduces students to the fundamentals of the Spanish language. Students engage in active learning to express themselves confidently in both written and oral work. Readings, music, and films expose students to the different accents, geography, and history of Spanish-speaking countries. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to communicate effectively about daily life in the present and past tenses.
This course completes the introduction of all major aspects of Spanish grammar. Students work to build their vocabulary and to incorporate the material they learn into both written and oral expression. The course focuses on real-life communication skills and emphasizes the cultures of Latin and South America.
Conducted in Spanish, this accelerated course focuses on advanced readings, composition writing, and discussion topics. Students use a variety of tenses in written and spoken expression while developing a high level of proficiency in Spanish by discussing current cultural topics, studying geography, writing essays on Hispanic films, and reading poetry and short stories.
Conducted in Spanish, this course focuses on speaking, writing and studying Hispanic cultures. Students are required to use a variety of tenses and display mastery of conversational, grammatical, and vocabulary skills. Cultural studies in this course examine key persons, groups, historical events, and contemporary issues.
Advanced Topics in Spanish Conversation is a series of three one-trimester courses designed to fine-tune students' skills in spoken and written Spanish while providing an in-depth investigation of Spanish-speaking cultures. Our thematic focus will be on the historical encounters and current relations between different ethnic groups in Latin America and Spain. Students examine a wide range of issues facing multi-ethnic states through the study of literature, historical readings, film, music, art, and current events.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
In this course, students learn to draw with pencil, colored pencil, or charcoal pencil and illustrate with pen and ink. Additionally, students paint with water colors or acrylics and create with various media. Each project is designed around a specific theme and skill to help develop students' techniques. Appreciation for art history and cultural activities is an integral component of this course. Students write an art history term paper, short journal entries, and participate in cultural activities throughout the year.
Digital photography offers students the opportunity to advance their skills beyond camera basics over the course of one trimester. Creating high quality images from high quality subjects can be a difficult and low success venture for the average camera owner. Students in this course will understand and use their digital camera to its highest potential. We will cover the universal parameters governing photography: composition, exposure, color and tone, light, etc... Students will be exposed to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and will use these programs to create high quality prints for their student portfolios. Each student must have a digital camera with an available Manual mode (please check with the instructor regarding appropriateness of camera choice), and their camera's manual. It is recommended that students own a laptop capable of storing many images and running image processing software. We will be dealing with largely natural lighting and outdoor subjects, so students must be prepared to be outside during the school day.
2011-2012 Course Offerings
This required course provides students with information used to develop healthy attitudes and behavior patterns. Critical thinking and decision making skills are taught and practiced throughout the course. Topics include mental health, family and social health, human growth and development, nutrition and fitness, substance abuse, and diseases and disorders. The subject content is explored in relation to how teenagers can make healthy decisions and live active lifestyles.
This trimester-long course is devoted to creating the annual Sugar Bowl Academy yearbook. Students employ both writing and visual presentation skills to develop the project. The course also introduces students to journalism, editing, photography, and layout design. Students use sophisticated Adobe graphic design software to produce a professional quality yearbook for the entire school.
Advanced Placement Courses
We encourage all students to consider participation in Advanced Placement classes when they are offered and are appropriate. Participation in such classes shows a student's decision to be challenged by the most rigorous curriculum offered by the school. However, because of the skills necessary, admission to AP classes requires teacher permission. Students enrolled in AP classes should expect the academic load to be heavier and the grading to be more rigorous. In order to enroll in an AP level course, students must have maintained an average of 80% or higher in the department's previous course and receive the approval of the student's previous teacher. All AP courses are taught as full-year courses.
Sugar Bowl Academy's schedule and college preparatory curriculum demand that students spend a significant amount of time outside of the classroom doing schoolwork. Students in 7th and 8th grade may expect up to 45 minutes of homework per night in each class, while upperclassmen may need up to 60 minutes of homework per night in each class. Course descriptions indicate workload which should enable students to gauge the expectations of students enrolled in a particular course. Time management is paramount, as homework demands may require work beyond regular study hall hours.
Sugar Bowl Academy makes every effort to offer a full range of college preparatory middle school and high school level classes each year. Because of our small size, course offerings may be affected by enrollment and thus, courses listed in the 2010-2011 Course Catalog may not be offered due to lack of enrollment. In some instances, there may be an additional charge for a class when there are less than four students enrolled in that class.
Classes and Coursework Not Offered
Sugar Bowl Academy offers our students a broad selection of academic, elective, and Advanced Placement courses in keeping with the college preparatory experience. Students wishing to enroll in classes or coursework beyond the scope of SBA's catalogue shall have the following support: Sugar Bowl Academy will provide, to the best of its ability, classroom space, class scheduling, technology access, transcript assistance, and textbook ordering resources in order to facilitate learning opportunities in courses not offered at SBA. Additionally, for classes or coursework taken online, SBA will provide students with a faculty advisor to oversee the completion of work and to assist with questions or problems that arise. Sugar Bowl Academy will not provide financial support to cover the costs of registration, enrollment, textbooks, or other fees and materials associated with non-SBA classes.
Sugar Bowl Academy expects students to exhibit the highest standards of academic performance. The minimum number of units required for graduation exceeds the minimum entrance requirements for the University of California system and fulfills the NCAA core curriculum requirements for freshman eligibility. The recommended units reflect what is expected by most selective colleges and universities.
In order to graduate from the Academy, a student must have completed at least his/her entire senior year of enrollment at the Academy and must have a minimum G.P.A of 2.00. Only grades earned at the Academy are included in the calculation of student G.P.A. All credits earned at other institutions are shown on the student's transcript. Additionally, Students are expected to maintain a 2.00 to continue enrollment at SBA. Freshmen and sophomores are expected to take a course load of at least 18 units, juniors at least 15 units, and seniors and PG students at least 12 units in addition to an ongoing senior project. The number of courses required does not include P.E. Students enrolled at SBA in their freshman and sophomore years are normally expected to complete the Visual/Performing Arts and Health requirements by the end of the sophomore year.
In the table below, a year-long course earns three units of credit, while a trimester-long course earns one. Credit for graduation may be earned only in grades 9-12.
|English||12 units (4 full years)|
|Mathematics||9 units (3 full years)||12 units|
|Science||9 units (3 full years)||12 units|
|History||9 units (3 full years)||12 units|
|Foreign Language||9 units (3 full years)||12 units|
|Visual and Performing Arts||3 units (1 full year)||6 units|
|Health and Wellness||1 unit (for the Class of 2012 and younger)|
|Senior Project||3 units (1 full year)|
|Physical Education||3 units for each year enrolled at SBA|
As a prerequisite for graduation, all SBA seniors are required to complete a year-long senior project. The Senior Project program is designed to be the culminating experience of each student's academic experience at Sugar Bowl Academy. It is a meaningful opportunity for SBA seniors to pursue their personal and academic interests in and outside of the classroom. The Senior Project is a unique personal journey in which each student gains an in-depth understanding of a particular subject area through research and real-life learning.
Sugar Bowl Academy students may graduate with Honors or a Concentration in a particular subject area according to the following terms:
Graduating with Honors
|Students Must:||Complete the recommended course load for graduation|
|Maintain un-weighted G.P.A.s of 3.80 or higher|
|Receive Honors on Senior Projects|
|Attend SBA for at least two full years|
Graduating with a Concentration in Humanities
|Students Must:||Complete 4 year-long courses in both the English & History Departments|
|Complete 5 additional units in the English and History Departments|
|(at least one unit must be taken in each department)|
Graduating with a Concentration in Math/Science/Technology
|Students Must:||Complete 4 year-long courses in both the Math & Science Departments|
|Complete 5 additional units in the Math and Science Departments|
|(at least one unit must be taken in each department)|
|** Technology units may be accrued via approved online courses or those taught|
|at other institutions.|