Cambrian Academy
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4340 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, CA 95118
408.833.7050


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ADVISORY

SAT Preparation/College Prep
This course is an opportunity for the student to achieve his/her best score on the SAT, ACT, and PSAT exams. The course is designed to help the student build on the skills necessary for success on these exams. Students will also meet with college recruiters, learn how to complete college entrance forms, learn how to apply for scholarships and financial aid and interview techniques. This required course is for the serious student who wants to select and target the appropriate institution of higher learning.

 

COLLEGE PREP SPORTS

PE or College Prep Sports

Our college prep sports courses revolve around competitive sports that often lead to college scholarships and/or a competitive advantage in college admission. In addition to developing athletic skill and discipline, these students participate in high-visibility competitions, train with experts in their given sport, and make valuable contacts within the college recruitment arena. The philosophy of each program involves Academics, Practice, Competition, and Promotion.
  • Golf: Coyote Creek, AJGA, College Golf 101
  • Go Kart, SCCA Racing, and Formula Racing
  • Tennis: Eagle Fustar, USTA
  • Soccer: Cambrian Academy, working with Quakes Academy, provides local and international students the opprotunity to participate in an MLS Player Development League. Students who are accepted into the U-14, U-16, or U-18 program will be given an adjusted academic schedule, allowing them to practice and play at an internationally visible level, without the need to compromise.

 

Outdoor Recreational Activities

Focusing on the health and wellness of the rest of our student body, this course is designed to teach basic skills of Frisbee golf, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and general physical fitness to students. This course will start at the beginner level and advance according to the ability of the various class squads. This course will allow students to engage in these outdoor activities with proficiency. The health and wellness segment of the course assists students in achieving the Presidential Physical Fitness standards.

ENGLISH
The standard English track includes British Literature, American Literature, Senior Seminars, and an English course chosen by the student in the Junior year.
British Literature is designed to fulfill a high school English requirement and to prepare students for high university English standards. Students will read, analyze, and respond to eight master texts, each considered a significant part of the British literary canon. Supplementary texts that broaden the students' understanding of those master texts will be examined alongside them. Their instruction in methods of analysis, research, and composition will be demonstrated in their written and oral responses to the master texts. All responses must show development of critical thinking skills and growth in rhetorical technique, but four papers will be especially weighted, and those will be edited and revised until they represent the student's best work for the course, and are collected in a student portfolio.
American Literature is designed to fulfill a high school English requirement and to prepare students for high university English standards. Students will read, analyze, and respond to eight master texts, each considered a significant part of the American literary canon. Supplementary texts that broaden the students' understanding of those master texts will be examined alongside them. Their instruction in methods of analysis, research, and composition will be demonstrated in their written and oral responses to the master texts. All responses must show development of critical thinking skills and growth in rhetorical technique, but four papers will be especially weighted, and those will be edited and revised until they represent the student's best work for the course, and are collected in a student portfolio.
World Literature (1650 - present) is a broad survey of literary texts that have had impact and influence beyond their own national literature. The course begins with the comedies of Molière and ends with the New York Times' Bestseller list. Works are examined within their social context, using a variety of analytical tools, and attempting to help students practice the research and composition skills they will need at university while reminding them that they are the inheritors of an entire planet's literary legacy.
Honors English may be appropriate for the Junior whose AP focus lies in the realms of math and/or science. This course, which builds upon those skills taught in British and American Literature courses, is designed to exceed the district and state curriculum requirements, as well as challenge the advanced student. In reading, students focus on in-depth study of thought-provoking fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. Outside reading and vocabulary study are also required. Students concentrate on multi-paragraph essays with an emphasis on building a solid argument. Also included in the course are required assignments in speaking/listening and viewing/presenting. British literature is the bulk of study.
This course is designed to exceed the district and state curriculum requirements and challenge the advanced student. Students read, interpret, analyze and evaluate American literature from Puritan times through the 21st century and continue the study of advanced vocabulary. In writing, students master the essay structure in narrative, expository, persuasive, research, and technical writing. Also included in the course are required assignments in speaking/listening and viewing/presenting. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit. Students are expected to complete their AP English class by the end of their junior year, so they may take our focused Senior Seminar courses.
This course is designed to challenge the advanced student and exceed the district and state curriculum requirements. Students read works of recognized literary merit and their critical reviews, analyze forms and content, and write reactions and criticisms in preparation for the Advanced Placement exam given during the spring semester. The course also has advanced vocabulary study and a research project. Also included in the course are required assignments in speaking/listening and viewing/presenting. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit. Students are expected to complete their AP English class by the end of their junior year, so they may take our focused Senior Seminar courses.
All twelfth grade students must select two one-semester seminars to fulfill their English credit for the year. Students will receive a separate English 12 registration form on which to list their top three choices for each semester. Every effort will be made to place students in one of their three choices. Choices include courses such as: Post-Apocalyptic Literature, Graphic Narrative, Satire, Supernatural, Detective Fiction, Monsters in Literature, and Absurdist Heroes.
In this class, students produce the school's yearbook. Many of the same skills required in Newspaper Production are utilized in this class with special emphasis on layout, copy writing, and editing. Students need to have passed Journalism and/or received a recommendation from the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit. NOTE: Credit in Yearbook Production applies toward high school graduation requirements as general elective credit only. This course does NOT satisfy English requirements for graduation.
Students learn basic journalistic techniques including gathering information, writing, and proofreading. They become acquainted with the areas of writing headlines, copyediting, layout, printing, and advertising. NOTE: Credit in Journalism applies toward high school graduation requirements as general elective credit only. This course does NOT satisfy English requirements for graduation.

 

SOCIAL SCIENCE
In addition to the basic World History, US History, Civics, Economics, and Global Studies, we also offer:
This college survey course, with appropriate textbook and supplemental readings in the form of documents and essays, provides both chronological and thematic coverage of American History. Emphasis is placed on political history, foreign affairs, and economic and social development, including literary and cultural history. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
This college-level survey course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. The subjects include: biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, sleep and dreams and other states of consciousness, motivation and emotion, learning, abnormal psychology and social psychology. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
This college-level course is designed to provide students with an in-depth, analytical approach to the study of European History. Students will acquire knowledge of the basic events and movements that occurred in Europe during the time period of Renaissance to the present. These events and movements are explored through three theses: intellectual and cultural history, political and diplomatic history, and social and economic history. In addition, students learn how to analyze historical documents and how to express their historical understanding in writing. This satisfies credit for World History. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
Advance Placement Macroeconomics will give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Topics covered in this course will include: basic economic concepts; measurement of economic performance; national income and price determination; economic growth; and international finance, exchange rates and balance of payments. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
This college-level course is a study of our government and its politics. Students examine the functions of federal, state, and local agencies with respect to the U.S. Constitution, political structures, citizens' liberties, voter participation, interest groups, and media. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of media and cultural studies. The course will largely take a critical social science perspective but will also draw on cultural theory and history. After briefly outlining the history of mass media, the course will survey a variety of areas of interest. The survey will include effects and elements in the process of communication, forms and methods used, the role of media in our life; the rise of marketing and advertising; issues related to representation, identity, and inequality; entertainments and leisure; and new media. It will look at both the print and electronic media. The ultimate goal of the course is to critically examine a large part of students' lives that is typically taken for granted.
This course explores the relationship between the Arabs and the West, including Europe and the United States. The history of the Arab world begins with the desert tribes and continues with Muhammad and the impact of Islam on the tribes. The great empires created by the Arabs and their contributions to the world are studied. Finally, in the modern era, the effects of World War I and II are examined and their impact on the Arab world are analyzed.
Social and Cultural History of Rock and Roll: This class seeks to balance understanding the development and significance of Rock and Roll in its historical and social environment with maintaining a focus on listening to the music as a main mode of understanding. Through listening, analysis, discussion, music, and film students will explore the music and culture and society of the day.

 

MATHEMATICS
A full course of math is available, as well as remedial math for new students.
ALGEBRA I and II -- This course includes a rigorous study of sets of real numbers, solution of first and second-degree equations, graphing on the coordinate plane, applications of algebra to data analysis and probability, patterns and functions and their applications, measurement and discrete mathematics, and basic mathematical structures. This accelerated course is application based and is intended for the student of high ability and interest in mathematics.
GEOMETRY -- This course includes the rigorous study of formal geometric proofs, polygons, circles, coordinate geometry, solution of right triangle trigonometry problems, Euclidean transformations, and mathematical structure and logic.
PRECALCULUS -- This course includes a rigorous study of angle measure, relations and graphs of trigonometric functions, coordinate and polar trigonometry, reduction formulae, fundamental triangle solutions and solutions of trigonometric equations, complex numbers, DeMoivres theorem, real number line, the plane functions, conics, polynomial functions, sequences and series, limits and rate of change, polar and parametric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions. Technology will play a large part in this course, especially hand-held graphing calculators. This honors course is intended for the student of high mathematical ability and interest. This college preparatory math course is designed for students who seek to meet admission requirements for UC and state universities.
This Advanced Placement course covers the prescribed College Board curriculum and is intended for advanced mathematics students who may pursue further study in mathematics or a mathematics-related field. This AP course incorporates skills and techniques of algebra and geometry into analytical approaches to problem-solving using functions of one variable. Topics covered include functions, limits, derivatives of algebraic and transcendental functions, curve sketch applications, velocity and rate and maxima-minima problems, definite and indefinite integrals, techniques of integration, and ordinary differential equations. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
This Advanced Placement course covers the prescribed College Board curriculum and is designed for students with a specific interest in science or engineering, or those with an interest in higher level mathematics. This AP course covers all topics in Calculus AB, polar and parametrically defined functions, vectors, techniques of integration, special applications of integration, sequences and series, and manipulation of the power series. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
This Advanced Placement course covers the prescribed College Board curriculum and is intended for advanced mathematics students. This AP course is designed to address four major themes in statistics: exploratory analysis, planning a research study, using elements of probability, and drawing inferences from statistics. Students will learn about measures of central tendency and dispersion, normal distributions, sampling techniques, random variables, confidence intervals, tests of significance and single and dual sample distributions. Technology in the form of graphics, calculators and computer software will play a significant role in the course. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
To ensure a smooth transition into abstract mathematics, we offer a customized pre-algebra course that will reinforce some of the math concepts that may not have been learned well at a student's prior school.

 

SCIENCE
In addition to the basic Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, we also offer:
Intro to Astronomy is a course intended to introduce students to the science and practice of astronomy. The history of astronomy will be briefly addressed, along with current speculations of the future of human exploration of space, but emphasis will be placed on the understanding of basic astronomical topics, including the 'life cycle' of stars, movement of galaxies, the Big Bang theory, planet formation, planetary habitability, and astronomical research.
Advanced Placement Biology is the second full year biology course for students who wish to pursue a college level biology course in high school. This course follows the recommendations of the Advanced Placement Biology Program and is equivalent to a first year college biology course. The content is laboratory, textbook and lecture oriented. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
Life on planet Earth revolves around the marine realm. Oceans not only dominate the globe physically, they fuel a vast engine of biotic productivity and diversity that ultimately affects every form of life on our planet. This course seeks to define the physical, chemical, and biological processes that promote and maintain life in the sea. Through lectures, group discussions, and laboratory/field exercises, we will explore the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms at work within marine environments.
Prerequisites: Biology or Faculty Approval
Advanced Placement Chemistry is the second full year chemistry course for students who wish to pursue a college level chemistry course in high school. This course follows the recommendations of the Advanced Placement Chemistry Program and is equivalent to a first year college chemistry course. The lab work includes exercises in both qualitative and quantitative analysis as well as those exercises typically found in a college general chemistry course. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
Forensic science is the application of basic biological, chemical and physical science principles and technological practices to the purposes of justice in the study of criminal and civil issues. Major themes of study in this course are pathology, anthropology, odontology, ballistics, trace evidence, biological fluids, DNA, fingerprints, impression evidence, questioned documents and forensic psychiatry/psychology.
Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry
Advanced Placement Physics is a full year course for students who wish to pursue a college level physics course in high school. This course follows the recommendations of the Advanced Placement Physics Program and is equivalent to a first year college physics course. Topics include mechanics, kinetic theory and thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, wave theory, optics, and modern physics. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
Introduction to Internet
Students will learn a basic history of the Internet and gain a contextual understanding of computer hardware, server software such as Apache, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and its variants, File Transfer Protocol, basic Photoshop, and search engines. Students will be expected to design a website including nested tables and form actions without the aid of WYSIWYG editors.
Target Marketing and SEO
With billions of websites indexed, why do certain ones show at the top of the search results? CS24 takes an in depth look at the evolution of search engines and their efforts to provide the most relevant results. Students will create a niche website, analyze how to reach their target customer, develop an appropriate content and back-linking strategy, and move their site into a top-10 spot on Google. This class includes an off-site, one-month internship with a local SEO company, working on a live commercial website. Prerequisite: CS14, CS15, or an equivalent introductory class

 

Art/Music - Visual and Performing Arts
The arts will never be cut from our program offerings.
This course provides an introduction to the mechanics and use of the camera, elements of design and various photographic techniques. The course may consider wet lab procedures as well as digital integration and image manipulation. Digital equipment is available for student use. Considerable attention focuses on the creative aspects of the medium. Estimated materials cost: $50
This course is for the career minded photo student. Students produce the photo images for the school's publications, as well as special programs and organizations on campus. Work concentrates on capturing the events of the school year as digital images and includes modern photojournalism techniques. This course may be repeated for credit. Estimated materials cost: $50
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of digital design and production for New Media. They learn the basics of digital drawing and imaging, and how to create visual compositions utilized in advertising, publishing, interactive media and web design. Some prior computer experience is highly recommended. Software used: Illustrator, Photoshop. Estimated materials cost: $30
This class is an introduction to still-life painting and head painting. Students learn to indicate simple form with a single light source using form shadows, cast shadows, warm and cool colors. Emphasis is placed on refining composition with cropping, overlapping and placement in the picture plane. Brushes, painting surfaces, mediums and palette preparation are discussed. Estimated materials cost: $95
The purpose of this year long, repeatable course is to give the student an increased appreciation of and additional experience in theater as an art form. The student will act, direct, or be technically involved in scenes, one-act plays or full length productions. They will read, write and evaluate plays as well as view and critique electronic and live performances.
A full year course designed to provide an atmosphere for the enjoyment, appreciation and performance of all types of choral music. The instruction and improvement of voice quality, intonation, ability to read music, ability to sight-sing, and the overall development of musicianship is stressed in conjunction with the learning of each piece of music. The Choir performs at evening concerts and also at graduation and other special events. Attendance at these performances and dress rehearsals are a course requirement.
Standard instrumentation includes trumpets, trombones, saxophones, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, drum set and auxiliary percussion. Music will be selected from Jazz, Latin, Rock and Swing styles within the context of a "Big Band." Stage Band will meet during the regular school day, and students are required to participate in a winter and spring concert as well as graduation and other special events.
This course expands on the skills learned in Stage Band, and applies them to the recording industry. Students learn the production process from concept to end product. Concepts of mixing and sound reinforcement from Stage Band are brought into the recording studio, where students work with professional quality digital recording equipment in our 16-track digital recording studio.
This introductory group meets one time each week. Students learn the techniques of playing instruments in a group, working to develop ensemble and solo performances. Tonal quality and technical facility are developed. Students discuss and constructively comment on their own performances and on the performances of the band. Standard instrumentation includes piano, strings, and woodwinds.
AP Music Theory course develops a student's ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The achievement of these goals is approached by initially addressing fundamental aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. Building on this foundation, the course progresses to include more creative tasks, such as the harmonization of a melody by selecting appropriate chords, composing a musical bass line to provide two-voice counterpoint, or the realization of figured-bass notation.

 

Foreign Language
Spanish and French are offered on campus, and other languages are offered through partner programs.
French 1 is a beginning course in communications with skill building in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Communication and comprehension are complemented through student participation in practical, everyday situations.
French 2 is a continuation from French 1. A greater emphasis is put on oral and written comprehension through daily conversations and oral work in class and assigned written work on dialogues and readings. The pace of the class is such that it allows for extensive vocabulary development as well as increased ability to communicate through a variety of grammatical structures. Students continue their study of the history, geography, and culture of French speaking people and countries.
French 3 is a continuation from French 2. A greater emphasis is put on oral and written comprehension through daily conversations and oral work in class and assigned written work on dialogues and readings. The pace of the class is such that it allows for extensive vocabulary development as well as increased ability to communicate through a variety of grammatical structures. Students continue their study of the history, geography, and culture of French speaking people and countries.
AP French is an advanced placement course for fifth level students who wish to pursue French beyond classroom experience. It requires active daily participation as well as gaining experience in French culture through novels, plays, poetry, and music. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.
Spanish 1 is a beginning course in communications with skill building in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Communication and comprehension are complemented through student participation in practical everyday situations.
Spanish 2 is a continuation from Spanish 1. A greater emphasis is put on oral and written comprehension through daily conversations and oral work in class and assigned written work on dialogues and short stories. The pace of the class is such that it allows for extensive vocabulary development as well as increased ability to communicate through a variety of grammatical structures. Students continue their study of the history, geography, and culture of Spanish-speaking people and countries.
Spanish 3 is a continuation from Spanish 2. A greater emphasis is put on oral and written comprehension through daily conversations and oral work in class and assigned written work on dialogues and short stories. The pace of the class is such that it allows for extensive vocabulary development as well as increased ability to communicate through a variety of grammatical structures. Students continue their study of the history, geography, and culture of Spanish-speaking people and countries. Short stories, poetry, and the works of Hispanic authors are studied.
AP Spanish Language is an advanced placement course for fifth level students designed to polish existing language skills through the analysis of 20th century Hispanic literature and creative oral and written activities. Students enrolled in this class are expected to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Exam. Exam scores, and each college/university, will determine eligibility for college credit.

 

 

ESL
All ESL courses are taught by highly educated, certified, native-English speakers.
Each course also spends significant time on public speaking and accent reduction.

Beginning ESL English
This beginning level provides the English Language Learner with survival vocabulary and language skills necessary for living in the U.S. and for functioning in school. Areas of study include health and safety, shopping, recreation, transportation, food, clothing, money, and many other areas encountered in daily living.

Intermediate ESL English
This level further develops language skills from the beginning course. Vocabulary skills are increased and the writing emphasis is on developing coherent paragraphs. Through the use of world literature in reading, students develop an appreciation for other cultures. Literature at the intermediate level includes short stories, poems, plays and non-fiction. This level also includes a focus on study skills and the effective use of the library.

Advanced ESL English
The advanced level functions similarly to a regular English class. Literary selections are from American literature, with emphasis on multicultural works. Fictional works include short stories, poems, drama, songs, films and a novel; non-fictional works include articles, essays and documentaries. The writing emphasis includes more demanding forms of composition such as multi-paragraph essays and a library resource paper. Speeches, interviewing techniques, interpretive reading and drama further enhance oral and listening skills.

 

 

Beginning ESL Reading
This course provides the English Language Learner with skills to begin learning to read in English. Students learn sentence and paragraph structure through reading, discussing, and analyzing short stories with comprehensible vocabulary appropriate to the beginning level of English language instruction. Students learn study skills, speech skills, spelling and writing in English.

Intermediate ESL Reading
Intermediate ESL Reading focuses specifically on the skills of reading, comprehending and responding to a variety of fiction and non-fiction writing. Students have the opportunity to read stories, poetry, articles and plays while developing reading fluency, word-attack skills, vocabulary and comprehension. Reading for various purposes (such as skimming, locating main ideas and reading for detail) is also covered. Responses to reading include analytical writing, discussion, answering comprehension questions, creative writing, drawing, oral interpretive reading, oral reports and other assignments.

Advanced ESL Reading
ESL Advanced Reading focuses specifically on the skills of reading, comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of literature. Students identify plot, theme, mood and setting, as well as, compare and contrast characteristics of literary characters.