Ninth and tenth grade students participate in the Core Program which includes English, Science, and History delivered in a project-based learning thematic format. Students choose their cores before entering as freshman.
Arts, Media & Entertainment (AME)
“Creating the foundation for students who want to pursue their academics and career through the arts.”
The Arts, Media and Entertainment Academy (AME) is designed to help students push the boundaries of their educational experience. The content of our classrooms is intended to be rigorous, but logical and fair. Throughout the year, our students will develop as artists, performers and learners - we will constantly challenge them to think critically, and express themselves through writing, performing and all other modes of art. The program is designed to establish baseline academic and technical foundations for students who wish to pursue their high school education through an arts-specific veil. Honors option available with teacher approval at the start of the new school year.
Wonder Media Arts Core
“Cultivating engaged and curious learners and providing opportunities for expression in creativity, media art and storytelling using video and graphic design.”
Wonder Media Arts students will construct knowledge through inquiry, research, creating/designing, and cooperation in project-based learning, in addition to traditional instruction. They will examine and tackle real world topics, as well as issues and challenges related to the 9/10 core subjects. Curriculum will be tied to life beyond the classroom fostering exploration of media career connections, including an introduction to the expertise of professionals. Wonder Media Arts instruction will focus on English, Science and Social Studies, which will be tied directly to, and engage students in, creative media projects. Students will learn to use cameras, sound and editing equipment and software strategically to connect, communicate, collaborate, create, and publish their work. Students will build skills and equipment knowledge with hands-on instruction, use of cameras, and other professional media software/equipment. Honors option available with teacher approval at the start of the new school year.
Exercise Science (X-Sci) Honors
“A specially-designed core that incorporates physical fitness, sports and academics to enhance each student’s understanding of the role physical activity and exercise play in their own lives and in society.”
The Exercise Science Academy emphasizes students gaining academic learning strategies and physical fitness strategies to benefit them both inside and outside of the classroom. Students considering the core should be self-directed and able to thrive in both a project-based learning structure as well as a more standard academic set-up. They should have a passion for moving and learning about fitness and exercise and a curiosity about how courses in Honors English, Honors History and Science connect these topics, and be comfortable working and contributing in a group setting. Please note: Physical Education is an integral component of the Exercise Science core. Students who cannot participate in PE should choose another 9/10 core. Accommodations will be given for injuries. However, students are expected to participate at a modified level corresponding to their medical clearance.
Discovery Honors Core
“Designed for students who want to get deeper in their studies, with a focus on research, hands-on experimentation and exploring meaning and purpose.”
This is an honors level core for those students looking for a fast-paced environment that allows them to really sink their teeth deeply into topics and projects. There is a heavy focus on working in groups and having grit to works towards answers and learning. Discovery students should be self-starters and confident in carrying a strong course load aimed at the highest level of academic achievement. Hands on experimentation in science classes, in depth research in history and English and allowing each students strengths to shine in a collaborative setting are hallmarks of this core. However, it's not all rigor, core values include humor, fun and the joys of learning and collaborating as well.
Innovation STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)
“Applying the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to investigate and question the interrelated facets of the modern world and the intersections of technology and culture.”
The Innovation STEM Academy is an integrated 9/10 program in which students interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math are given the opportunity to focus their academic efforts and develop key skills in math, science, problem solving, creativity, and design. This high achievement environment is designed to inspire a student’s ability to imagine a world shaped by his or her own innovation and design. Through an interdisciplinary approach, Innovation STEM offers students an opportunity to explore “out of the box” thinking and encourages students to identify creative ways to solve real world problems.
Phoenix Academy Core
“A core for students AND families, looking to develop a growth mindset through finding personal relevance, building confidence, rowing from setbacks, seeking challenges and using effort, ownership and practice as tools for growth.”
Phoenix requires “buy-in” from families as well, and parents are expected to come to Exhibition Nights, be a panel member for the Evening Exhibitions, and do frequent Student-Check in on Jupiter Grades. Phoenix core supports students seeking to change their mindset about academics and themselves. Phoenix is designed to guide students into positive academic experiences by teaching grit, growth mindset and instilling confidence. These tools will enable them be successful in school and prepare them for the next stages of their lives. The core utilizes project-based learning, where students explore topics that have relevance to them, their communities, and our world.
Vineyard SOL Academy
“A project-based learning core focused on global citizenship, global/local resources, farm-to-fork sustainable farming, and personal responsibilities (academic, health, relationship to our environment)."
Vineyard SOL (Students of Life) Academy core focuses on project-based learning, student-generated activities, and community partnerships. Students looking for a hands-on educational experience that prepares them for college and career find a home in VA SOL. Goals for our students include creating life-long memories and academically rigorous opportunities for students to “go beyond” their pre-set expectations. Activities in the core include activities such as field trips to farms, farmers markets, food banks, local businesses, and colleges/universities, guest speakers, working in the Living Laboratory at H Quad Garden, teaching elementary students about healthy food, and researching and investigating current issues like: GMO’s, global agricultural development, climate change, hunger, food waste, urban food deserts, etc.
“A college-preparatory option for students who are not yet ready to commit to the themes of the other 9/10 cores, want a broader experience for the 9/10 curriculum, and are still exploring personal interests and careers.”
Veritas means truth in Latin, and at the heart of this program is the search for and ownership of truth. Part of that truth includes the application of the "three R's": respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for ones actions. Veritas consists of three classes each year: Science, World History/Global Studies and English. Students take college preparatory courses in a more traditional educational setting, but teachers incorporate writing across the curriculum, public speaking and presentation skills, and students learn to analyze fiction/non-fiction texts. Teachers collaborate on unit development and core projects, and are able to support students over the two year program of study.