Academics

Summer Online Courses for Credit

Online Summer Learning

New and returning Westminster School students have the opportunity to take one academic course for credit during the summer. These Pass/Fail courses, taught by Westminster faculty, can help students prepare for the upcoming academic year, improve academic skills and grow intellectually.

Courses are offered in a distance learning format through the Zoom for Education platform. Summer Online Courses for Credit (SOCC) meet Monday through Friday for two hours per day and students should expect to spend one to two hours per day preparing for class. Daily meeting times will be determined by faculty to best accommodate the location of students enrolled in the class.

The course offering and schedule for summer 2021 will be posted at a later date. Below is a list of courses that were offered during the summer 2020 session.

Summer 2020 Course Offerings

List of 8 items.

  • Creative Writing

    This course will help students understand and practice the creative writing process, beginning with the prewriting stage and moving through the refining period before celebrating a “completed” product. By writing in a variety of genres, including poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction, individuals will hopefully walk away with a clearer image of who they are and perhaps who they might be as a writer. The class structure is divided between workshopping (submitting one’s work for critique), studying craft (responding to assigned readings as a writer), and participation, all performed in a sincere and respectful environment. Student and teacher goals ultimately include effort, improvement, and self-discovery.
  • Algebra 1

    This first-year course introduces the fundamental concepts of algebra. Its aims include mastering basic algebraic skills and developing competence with the graphing calculator. Students are introduced to variables, order of operations, algebraic expressions, functions, and equations. Properties of signed numbers and other axioms lay the foundation for solving first-degree equations and systems of equations. Students study linear and quadratic functions, their solutions and graphs, and investigate word problems modeling these functions. The year concludes with a study of polynomials, inequalities, and the properties of exponents.
  • Algebra 2

    This course reviews the basic skills of Algebra 1 while building on the notion of a function. Problem-solving and graphing the following types of functions are emphasized: linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, radical, and rational. Topics first introduced in Geometry and Algebra 1 are further developed. The graphing calculator is used regularly to enhance and support comprehension.
                        
    Prerequisites: Algebra 1 and Geometry
  • Computer Programming and Coding

    This course follows the AP Computer Science A curriculum and assumes no prior programming experience. Students will learn to code in Java, a general-purpose programming language that is one of the most popular in use today. For the first unit, students will work in the JKarel programming environment, a stepping stone to Object-Oriented Programming. From there, we will move on to Java, where students will be introduced to the core principles of objects and classes. Java objects can be used to represent everyday real life objects, such as a car, while classes are like blueprints for making a specific model of that car. 

    As students master the syntax and vocabulary specific to Java, they will learn general software principles applicable to any programming language, including Python and Ruby. An emphasis will be placed on algorithms, general methods or step-by-step recipes used to solve a specific task. 

    Students will have nightly reading assignments from the text and exercises corresponding to the topic covered that day. To supplement these assignments, students will also view 8-10 minute videos which summarize the day’s lesson. Weekly problem sets, consisting of longer programming activities, will be due each Monday. 

    At the conclusion of the five week session, students will be well prepared to transition into the full-year AP Computer Science course.
  • Geometry

    This course consists of the study of shapes in two- and three-dimensional space using the formal language of definitions, postulates, and theorems. Students develop inductive and deductive reasoning skills and learn to construct two column proofs. The properties of parallel lines, congruent and similar shapes, ratio and proportion, the Pythagorean Theorem and right triangle trigonometry, special quadrilaterals, circles, geometric probability, and areas and volumes of plane and solid figures are the primary topics in the course. Alongside this agenda, there is also an ongoing review and enhancement of algebra skills. Specifically, we focus on solving linear and quadratic equations and systems of equations, manipulating and operating on fractions and radical expressions.
     
    Prerequisite: Algebra 1
  • Pre-Calculus

    This course reviews the functions studied in Algebra 2, deepening student comprehension of these functions and their applications. The course thoroughly investigates polynomial and rational functions, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions, as well as power models, with a focus on transformations and graphing. Probability is treated with an emphasis on SAT-type questions. The graphing calculator is used extensively throughout.
     
    Prerequisite: Algebra 2
  • Physics

    This course provides students with a basic introduction to physical phenomena and fundamental problem-solving skills. Topics covered include Newtonian mechanics, wave behavior and optics, electricity and magnetism, atomic structure, and heat. Although this course approaches topics primarily from a conceptual perspective, algebra-based problem-solving is also incorporated. The laboratory stresses observation skills, data analysis, and proper lab report format.

    NOTE: The June 15 registration deadline is required to accommodate instructor preparation before the course begins.

    Prerequisite: One year of any high school science
  • Spanish 1

    This course is designed for students who have had no or very little exposure to the Spanish language. Students are introduced to fundamental grammar and practical vocabulary using the textbook Descubre and a short novel. The usage of text, video, and audio material helps develop proficiency in the four basic skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students are evaluated on a regular basis through written quizzes and tests, as well as oral participation and written work.  

If you have any questions regarding the Summer Online Courses for Credit program, please contact: btawney@westminster-school.org

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Bryan Tawney

    Bryan Tawney 

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