The Academy is a specially designed program for targeted students within Menlo-Atherton High School committed to developing the academic, personal, and critical thinking skills needed for them to achieve success in both post-secondary education and securing quality employment in today’s information-based society. The Academy strives to develop students’ skills in emerging high-tech industries while giving them a strong foundation in the core academic subjects of science,language arts and social studies. As such, the Academy emphasizes college-bound, standards based curriculum while simultaneously developing essential career skills. In addition, the Academy strives to give students extensive experience in community service to foster commitment, pride,good citizenry, responsibility and a sense of belonging.
The Academy is designed to meet the needs of students in grades 10 through 12. By providing smaller class size, various instructional methodologies, and an integrated curriculum designed by a team of teachers who regularly communicate goals and the best means to achieve them, the program seeks to meet the comprehensive needs of each student. Students are exposed to consistent expectations in all classes within the Academy. Additional support is readily available from the faculty who is committed to successfully educating each one of its students.
Being a school within a school, the Academy fosters a sense of community and seeks to function as an extended family. Both our smaller school size and class size enhance this desired environment. Teachers in the program are dedicated to improving the academic success of their students and are fully aware that the means to engage students is by offering them an enriched program with high expectations that allows them to regularly take on high level critical thinking skills as they master the mandated state curriculum. Considering our task in this endeavor is shared by teachers and students, we include several community building activities into our curriculum consisting of a variety of field trips and social functions. Participating in such extracurricular activities also provides students with incentives, and each activity is designed to enhance their learning experience. Moreover, participating in such extracurricular activities allows Academy teachers -regardless of their particular area of curricular expertise - to know their students well and determine the best means to help each one meet with desired success. To further ensure success, the Academy’s teachers, together being responsible for the academic welfare of approximately 140 students, regularly meet to monitor their students’ progress and resolve concerns as they arise.
By creating a warm, nurturing, well disciplined, positive environment and equipping our students with core essential knowledge and skills, we encourage students to develop a personal educational plan based on their interests and lifelong learning goals. While they may partake of a motivating program to prepare them for post secondary education,ample opportunities are given to develop essential career skills and become aware of various career options. As maybe noted, the Academy is “The Computer Academy.” The school within a school focuses on equipping the students with mastery of the technological tools and skills available to all in the twenty-first century. Mastery of current technological tools and skills are taught not only as a separate curriculum; the use of these tools and skills is regularly integrated into the students’ daily coursework so that graduates of the Academy will be particularly adept at a myriad of technological skills, a key factor for successful employment in today’s society. Whether students choose a career or an academic path upon graduation, we hope to create students who appreciate diversity, embrace the notion of being lifelong learners and valuable members of their community who have learned to respect themselves and others.
ACADEMY COMPUTER APPLICATIONS I - Grade 10
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Computer Academy
A full year introduction to using computers developing keyboarding, applications, and basic HTML skills. Students develop correct keyboarding skills using the touch system. Hands-on experience with Microsoft office in Word include formatting, editing, spacing documents, inserting tables and columns
ACADEMY COMPUTER ANIMATION I – Grade 12
A project-based course in which both traditional and digital animation techniques such as storyboarding and frame-by-frame animation are explored through the use of Adobe Flash or similar software as a medium for the development of creative computer-based animations. Other topics included in this course are an introduction to Adobe Photoshop, Action script capabilities of the software to make interactive graphical user interfaces. The purpose of the course is to provide students hands on experience working with animation in a 2D environment that develops skills that are currently used in the computer industry.
ACADEMY WEB DESIGN - Grade 11
This course teaches the fundamentals of creating a website through a mixture of hands-on exercises, lecture, and demonstration. Topics include site layout principles, a discussion of HTML, color and image preparation for the web, browser compatibility, graphic user interface design,usability and Internet ethics and copyright issues. Students work towards building a basic website following accepted design layout standards. The class focuses on Dreamweaver but also uses Adobe Photoshop and a basic demonstration of Flash.
ACADEMY BIOLOGY – Grade 10
Students use the scientific method to investigate various branches of biology including cells, genetics, biotechnology, evolution, and ecology. Emphasis will be place don developing critical thinking skills through analyzing data from experiments they design themselves.
ACADEMY ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS THROUGH CHEMISTRY - Grade 11, 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and Algebra I.
Students will continue to use the scientific method as they study chemistry and how it relates to their lives. Prevalent environmental issues such as pollution of the water shed and society’s energy demands and their consequences will be used as a vehicle to learning the fundamentals of chemistry. As with the prerequisite biology course, critical thinking and analytical skills will be reinforced.
ACADEMY U.S. HISTORY - Grade 11
This is a year course that examines the major turning points in American History by first reviewing the Revolutionary Era through the Late 1800’s, and then emphasizing the twentieth century. Among the topics covered will be the Progressive Era, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the United States’ involvement in the New World Order. Students will be required to complete a research paper during the second semester.
ACADEMY WORLD STUDIES III - Grade 10
This is a year course that covers the following topics: Ancient Greece and Rome, The Renaissance,Age of Exploration, Reformation and the Enlightenment, World Revolutions, Industrialism and Imperialism, the World Wars, and Current Events. The focus of this course is on Modern World History.
ACADEMY ENGLISH II - Grade 10 (Required)
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Academies Program and English I. Course parallels English II.
This one-year college prep course enables students to demonstrate competency in the 10th grade state and district standards of: vocabulary development,reading comprehension, literary analysis, critical thinking, understanding and demonstrating various modes of writing, knowledge of grammar, listening and speaking skills, and the ability to work cooperatively in groups. Students complete portfolio projects throughout the year. Preparation for the California High School Exit exam, career awareness and career-enhancing skills are also emphasized in this year.
ACADEMY ENGLISH III- Grade 11 (Required)
Prerequisite: Completion of English II. Course parallels English III.
This one-year college prep course enables students to demonstrate competency in the 11th grade state and district standards of: vocabulary development,reading comprehension (with an emphasis on informational materials and media literacy in the junior year), literary analysis, critical thinking, understanding and demonstrating various modes of writing, knowledge of grammar, listening and speaking skills, and the ability to work cooperatively in groups. Students complete portfolio projects throughout the year. Career awareness and career-enhancing skills also emphasized.