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Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida

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General Studies

The goal of General Studies at KYHS is for students to broaden and deepen their understanding of the best that the world of knowledge has to offer while developing the skills and passion for lifelong learning. KYHS offers courses that aim to challenge each student at a level that is most appropriate for him or her. We offer Advanced Placement (A.P.), honors, accelerated, grade level, and principle courses.

 

The staff members in each department coordinate their teaching with each other so that themes are reinforced in each class. Each student takes a core course in English, History, Math, and Science each year as well as an Elective course. Our challenging and extensive General Studies program provides a solid foundation for understanding our world and prepares our students for the various post-high school academic institutions they attend.

 

CORE CURRICULUM

 

Math

 

Students benefit from a wide spectrum of classes ranging from principle to college level courses. The mathematics department focuses on critical thinking, data analysis, computation skills, and interpreting and modeling graphical representations of complex figures. Students are encouraged to appreciate the value and relevance of math skills in their academic life and beyond. The curriculum emphasizes the integration of STEM skills including using graphing calculators and online tools to prepare students for using technology throughout high school, in college and in their careers. 

 

The sequence of our mathematics curriculum is:

 

9th grade: Freshmen begin with the spatial-visual studies of Geometry. Geometry is offered on multiple levels, catering to the students' Algebra background and skill set. Students who benefit from an Algebra I course prior to Geometry will begin with Algebra I and take Geometry during their sophomore year.

 

10th grade: Sophomore year is spent honing the skills of algebra through Algebra I and Algebra II courses. Algebra skills are the foundation on which all future math classes build. The most advanced students move onto Pre-Calculus. By the end of 10th grade, most students will cover the majority of the Mathematics required for the SAT and ACT standardized exams.

 

11th grade: Junior year is when students set the stage for more advanced levels of mathematics through their Algebra II and Pre-Calculus courses. Students build on their fundamentals of Algebra while being challenged to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. The most advanced students study Advanced Placement Calculus AB, the equivalent of a first-semester college calculus course.

 

12th grade: Senior year offers a variety of courses that prepare students for the next phase of their mathematics education. Courses include Multivariable Calculus, Advanced Placement AB and BC Calculus, Advanced Placement Statistics, Introduction to Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Introduction to Statistics and Math for College Readiness.

 

Science 

 

Our science curriculum offers students the opportunity to explore a variety of science disciplines at different levels.  In the classroom, science is brought to life with hands-on lab experiences that are complemented with access to a wide range of virtual laboratory experiments.  Students learn to interpret data, utilize formulas, and conduct research protocols as they progress through their science courses. All students study a set sequence of curriculum their first three years at KYHS.  During their senior year, students may select a science course from a variety of offerings.

 

9th grade (BIOLOGY): Students are first introduced to the fundamentals of cellular life, with an emphasis on respiration, photosynthesis and the cell cycle.  During the second half of the year, students explore the nature of heredity through molecular and Mendelian genetics. The entire curriculum emphasizes the use of scientific methodology, and students develop advanced reasoning and inquiry techniques as they formulate predictions, actively participate in experiments, collect, analyze data, and then draw conclusions from their findings.

 

10th grade (CHEMISTRY): This course begins with a review of the scientific method and the mathematical skills necessary to analyze chemistry concepts. Students then explore the structure and states of matter, organization of the periodic table, and chemical bonding. Benefiting from an active lab schedule, students perform chemical reactions and use the inquiry process to explain chemical phenomena.

 

11th grade (PHYSICS): During this course, students survey topics such as Newtonian mechanics, friction, work, energy, power, kinematics, mechanical waves, and sound. Working collaboratively, students learn to conceptualize and analyze the laws of physics. Diverse laboratory experiences explore physics concepts and encourage students to build critical- thinking skills. Students may elect to study AP biology or AP chemistry instead of physics this year and conceptual students are taught physics and marine science. 

 

12th grade (STUDENT CHOICE): This year students diversify their science studies by choosing a course they are interested in. Subject to student vote, the science department offers a wide array of courses and levels. Options include but are not limited to: AP biology, AP chemistry, AP physics, AP psychology, AP computer science, environmental science, forensic science, and human anatomy & physiology.

 

English

 

In English classes, students become proficient writers and sensitive readers. Through survey classes and genre studies, students experience the top modern and classical texts of the world canon while expanding their worldviews and ultimately learning about themselves.

 

The sequence of our English curriculum is:

 

9th grade: Students transitioning into our high school focus on developing strong writing and analytical skills. Beginning with an intense composition unit and working through classic literary archetypes and genres, students develop the basic skills needed to explore deeper and more complex texts. 

 

10th grade: Building on the skills learned in their freshman year, students in tenth grade begin stateside for an intense American literature survey course. Beginning with classic authors from Poe and Hemingway and moving on to modern voices of the 21st century, students explore the multicultural evolution of American creativity and the ever-changing American Dream. 

 

11th grade: Junior English takes the students back to the beginnings of the English language with an in-depth survey course of British Literature. Starting with Anglo-Saxon ballads and finishing with modern British voices, students participate in the pageant of British literature and learn how it has shaped our language and culture on this side of the pond. Students in 11th grade may also opt to take AP Language and Composition instead of British Literature.

 

12th grade: Rising seniors choose their English classes for their final year of high school. With multiple courses available, students get a small taste of what college classes will be like. Students switch classes mid-year in order to experience different genres and topics in literature, taught by teachers who are passionate about their subjects. Sample courses offered: AP Literature and Composition, Villains and Monsters, Science Fiction, Shakespeare, Contemporary Literature, The Graphic Novel, Satire and Comedy, Children's Literature and Fairy Tales, and Memoirs.

 

History

 

In History classes, students learn to think, read, and write analytically as they develop understandings that explain and account for the past and present alike. Students become proficient at analyzing documents, images, and other primary and secondary sources while developing the skills necessary to interpret historical trends and important world issues.

 

The sequence of our History curriculum follows a narrowing scope in which students build upon and refine their understanding from one year to the next. 

 

9th grade: Students in the ninth grade begin their History curriculum through the study of either World History (Principles to Honors-level courses) or Advanced Placement Human Geography. In World History, students chart the emergence and development of civilizations, socio-economic patterns, and cultural trends from human prehistory to the early modern period. With a curriculum ranging from the classical Mediterranean to Mesoamerica, and from Genghis Khan to Mansa Musa, students work comparatively and analytically to understand diverse societies through the lenses of context and causality. Students also build key source analysis skills, and capstone their year with independent research projects.

 

In their study of Human Geography, students consider the physical geography, distribution, processes, and influences of the Earth as well as human interaction with the environment and across social, political, economic, and cultural lines. Students are exposed to numerous economies, political systems, and social traditions that differ from those of America; students’ thinking expands as they compare the cultures, they are familiar with to those they have never studied before. In addition to analyzing texts, students learn how to use and interpret maps, data, and images as they make connections between cultures and the forces that influence them.

 

10th grade: In the study of European History from the year 1450 to the present, students learn about the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that have shaped today’s world in classes ranging from Principles to Advanced Placement. As they explore the major themes of European History, students analyze historical evidence and write analytical essays on historical developments that help account for the contours of the modern world. Through the analysis of authentic sources such as Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the writing of Enlightenment thinkers, students further strengthen their critical-thinking skills. The scope of this course is also global, encouraging students to understand the multilateral influence of world regions upon one another.

 

11th grade: Students in eleventh grade begin their study of American History in pre-colonial times in classes ranging from Principles to Advanced Placement courses. Throughout these courses, students work concretely to understand how America’s past directly affects its present. Using themes and skills developed in their study of European History, students use highly developed critical-thinking techniques to delve into historical perspectives on numerous topics, including influential court cases, the role of the Federal government, socio-economic and racial injustice, and the narrative framing of American history.  Analyzing documents, speeches, and other critical historical data, students learn about the priorities and considerations that influenced America’s development as well as its foreign and domestic policies over time. 

 

12th grade: As seniors, students learn History in a more collegiate atmosphere with the opportunity to delve deeply into specific subjects as they rotate through unleveled seminars in the following content areas: Zionism and Modern Israel, Jewish Modernity, Jewish Intellectual History, and the Holocaust. Building upon years of study and source analysis, seniors now work to study specific facets of Jewish history while contextualizing the Jewish experience as part of larger, overlapping wholes. Students may also elect to challenge themselves by enrolling in our Honors curriculum, which entails the production of an extensive research paper on any Jewish History topic alongside weekly participation in a combination of research workshops and debate seminars in which students discuss controversial issues in Jewish history and contemporary life.

 

ELECTIVES

 

Engineering

 

Engineering & Coding I, II, III - Utilizing curriculum from our partnerships with the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education, Project Lead The Way and VEX Robotics, our students (who often enter high school with little or no background) engage in a multi-year journey to master electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science (through the blended CodeHS platform). Students learn how to utilize the Arduino microcontroller to pursue unique and innovative Capstone projects to solve real-world problems, hone their conflict resolution skills through building drones and competing in VEX robotics, and sharpen their ability to code in JavaScript, Python, SQL, and HTML & CSS.

 

Arabic

 

Arabic and Hebrew are “sister languages”. They share the same origin of the Semitic languages, the same verb form, many similar words, roots and meanings, as well as grammatical structure. These similarities ease the learning and assist the students in the language acquisition process. Learning the Arabic language benefits the students by improving their Hebrew language skills, and by helping them understand the Arabic culture and the history and mentality of the Middle East and the Muslims world.

 

Art

 

In Art and Design at KYHS we will develop and strengthen our skills in drawing and painting by hand but also add an element of technology using our iPads and drawing apps. The focus is to create and utilize both methods for beautiful and professional finished products. Honors and AP Art students can create and build personal portfolios to submit as supplements for college applications and art programs.

 

Photography/Videography

 

The Photography and Videography Elective at KYHS is one of the most applicable classes KYHS has to offer! Everyone takes pictures and videos! Through collaboration, technical skills, and attention to detail, our students will learn to think creatively and see the world from a different perspective. Through the art of photography, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the technology available at their fingertips, our students will truly learn what it means to "capture the moment."

 

Spanish

 

The goal for the Spanish course is to increase each student’s ability to communicate in Spanish.  Students will gain a better understanding of how to converse with local Spanish speaking community members and be able to extend their speaking skills when visiting a foreign Spanish speaking country.  We concentrate on both grammar and verbal communication.

 

Test Prep

 

The Test Prep elective is a two-session course that helps students prepare for both the SAT and ACT. One session includes mathematics instruction and problem solving. The other session provides instruction related to the English language sections, where students learn grammatical concepts, write analytical essays, and develop reading comprehension skills.

 

Phys Ed

 

Our newly revamped Physical Education program offers various types of physical activities with student-driven curricula. Three times a week the students get to actively participate in intense physical outlets of their choice.