Course Catalog

English

The overall goal of the English program at St. Francis is effective communication, reached through close examination of literature and regular writing and discussion-based assignments. The core of this four-year program is literature, on which every facet is based. Students analyze works, relying on shared inquiry methods for discussions and formal writing assignments. Discussions, presentations, creative projects, vocabulary and language development, and all written assignments stem from the literature studied. Grammar is taught in the context of the writing assignments. The classes contain a wide variety of genres, styles, and periods of literature in order to help students develop an appreciation for the subject. Students should complete their Summer Reading prior to the first day of school.

COURSES

9th Grade
  • English 9
10th Grade
  • Great Books
  • Honors Great Books
11th Grade
  • American Literature
  • AP English Language & Composition
12th Grade
  • Literature and Film
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • Writing from Literature
  • AP English Literature

Mathematics

Mathematics is the study of systems of logic and relationships. The specific systems of logic studied by each student at Saint Francis High School are Algebra and Geometry. Upon building this strong logical foundation, students choose to pursue a further understanding of abstract math through a Precalculus and Calculus pathway, or a more applied approach to mathematics through Statistics. The study of mathematics can benefit every student at St. Francis. One benefit that is easily demonstrated and evaluated is the increase in the student’s repertoire of computational skills and problem-solving abilities. Another benefit, equally important but less easily measured, is the realization on the part of the student that the problem-solving skills developed in the math class are applicable to other disciplines.

The Math department strives to promote a curriculum and classroom environment that maximizes the development of each student’s mathematical abilities and enhance her appreciation of the value of a study of mathematics.

COURSES

  • Math Lab 1
  • Integrated Math 1
  • Integrated Math 2
  • Geometry 
  • Integrated Math 3
  • Integrated Math 3A 
  • Integrated Math 3B
  • Honors Integrated Math 3 
  • Precalculus 
  • Honors Precalculus 
  • Statistics 
  • AP Statistics 
  • Calculus 
  • AP Calculus AB 
  • AP Calculus BC 

Modern & Classical Languages

Studying a second language provides the cognitive and intellectual preparation necessary to succeed in the academic and social environment the St. Francis graduate will encounter. Learning a second language allows her to gain an understanding of languages other than English, as well as of the peoples who communicate in French, Italian, Latin and Spanish and their cultural products.

Faculty members teaching in the Modern and Classical Languages Department are native speakers and/or have lived extensively in countries where the language is spoken. Although the graduation requirement for St. Francis is two years, most students complete 3 or 4 years of one language and many take more than one language concurrently.

COURSES

French Program
  • French 1
  • French 2 
  • French 3 
  • Honors French 3
  • French 4 
  • AP French Language and Culture 
Italian Program
  • Italian 1
  • Italian 2 
  • Italian 3 
  • AP Italian Language and Culture
Spanish Program
  • Spanish 1 
  • Spanish 2 
  • Spanish 3 
  • Honors Spanish 3 
  • Spanish 4 
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture 
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture 
Latin Program
  • Latin 1 
  • Latin 2 
  • Latin 3 
  • Latin 4
  • AP Latin 

Performing & Visual Arts

The school has a vibrant academic arts program with over twenty courses in visual and performing arts.  An integral part of the school curriculum and community, our art students develop their interests with beginning through advanced classes in music, theatre, dance and visual arts.

Dance Courses

  • SF Apprentice Dance Company
  • SF Dance Company 
  • Intermediate Dance Techniques (PE credit only)
  • Dance Styles (PE credit only)

Dramatic Arts Courses

  • Theater Arts 1
  • Theater Arts 2 
  • Honors Theater Arts 2 

Technical Theater

  • Introduction to Theater Tech & Design

Musical Arts Courses

  • Concert Choir
  • Chamber Singers
  • Honors Chamber Singers 
  • Concert Band
  • Concert Orchestra
  • Honors Chamber Orchestra 
  • Vocal Solos
  • Show Choir
  • Introduction to Show Choir

Visual Arts Courses

  • Drawing 1 
  • Drawing 2 
  • Painting 1 
  • Painting 2 
  • Figure Sculpting 1
  • Figure Sculpting 2 
  • Digital Photography 1 
  • Digital Photography 2 
  • Digital Film
  • Advanced Studio Art
  • AP 2-D Art and Design 
  • AP 3-D Art and Design
  • AP Drawing
  • Honors Art History 

Physical Education & Health

The Physical Education Department strives to enrich the mental, physical and the moral development of all students by promoting spiritual, creative, and healthy lifestyles through high quality programs. The department identifies the components of successful health-related physical education and implements these into all classes. Through the practice of dance, weight training, recreational fitness, yoga and other physical activities students improve their physical coordination, body alignment, awareness, agility, balance and strength.

In addition, the breathing, meditation, and instruction on healthy nutritional and life-style choices assist students in dealing with the stresses associated with adolescence. Teachers emphasize participation in developmentally appropriate and enjoyable physical activities while providing students with the skills to assess their progress.

COURSES

  • Health
  • Recreational Fitness
  • Yoga
  • Cardio & Weight Training
  • Dance Styles
  • Intermediate Dance Techniques
  • Hula: Na Wahine ‘O ‘Olu (The Women of Grace)

Science

The SFHS Science Department promotes an understanding of the basic principles of science. After four years, the student will have an understanding of the basic order in nature and have an appreciation of the laws of the universe. Science courses are designed to meet the state standards and UC requirements.

Courses starting with the freshman year are developed in a sequential fashion to encourage upper level courses in the future.

COURSES

Life Sciences
  • Integrated Science
  • Biology
  • Honors Biology 
  • AP Biology
  • Biology II 
  • Anatomy & Physiology 
Physical Sciences
  • Chemistry 
  • Honors Chemistry 
  • Physics 
  • Honors Physics 
  • AP Chemistry 
  • Applied Chemistry & Technology 

Social Studies

The Social Studies Department of St. Francis High School believes that an understanding of the human condition in the past and throughout the world today is the best preparation for concerned, responsible, and active citizenship in a society of rapid change and high technology. Through the examination of other cultures, historical time periods, the changing role of government, and economic development, students understand the importance of past events in relationship to future decisions.

We believe that strong Christian values will help our students evaluate issues on the local, national and international levels. We urge students to foster a critical sense of what is permanent and meaningful, and reject superficial and transient values, through participating in the political process, government forums and volunteer service within their community. We promote sympathy, justice, and peace in all human relations so that our students will act from a basis of love and conviction to make our world a better place to live.

COURSES

9th Grade
  • Early World History and Geography
10th Grade
  • World History 
  • AP World History 
11th Grade
  • US History
  • AP US History 
12th Grade
  • Civics 
  • Economics
  • AP US Government & Politics 

STEM

Technology is an integral part of the high school experience. At St. Francis High School, our mission is to prepare our students for 21st century learning by mastering skills of locating, analyzing, and creatively communicating information effectively. Our technology courses focus on preparing students to become independent users of technology, for academic and artistic purposes.

Technology is all about change; building confidence allows our students to adapt and grow with the hardware and software over time, preparing them for lifelong learning.

COURSES

  • Computer Graphics
  • Digital Photography 1
  • Digital Photography 2 
  • Digital Film 
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles 
  • Computer Programming with C – C-STEM 
  • Computer Science Discoveries 
  • Applied Chemistry & Technology

Theology

The Theology Department is a central and integral part of St. Francis High School. We believe that people encounter God in their everyday activities; it is our goal as religious educators to promote the awareness of God’s presence and encourage the interaction of God’s grace and our free response. The Theology Department prepares the students to go forth as living examples of service, community building and faith. There is an ecumenical spirit in our Catholic school which serves those of different Christian denominations, Orthodox traditions, and the Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Islamic faiths.

The eight semesters of theology:

  • Present the core beliefs and practices of Roman Catholicism.
  • Foster an appreciation of: Prayer and Worship; Ethical behavior; Christian Service; Reverence for the mystery of life; Respect for people and religions.

COURSES

9th Grade
  • Introduction to Scripture
  • Christology
10th Grade
  • Paschal Mystery
  • The Church
11th Grade
  • Sacraments
  • Interfaith Dialogue (P)
12th Grade
  • The Moral Life in Christ
  • Social Justice

AP Capstone Program

AP Capstone is a College Board diploma program based on two year long AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. While other AP courses teach specific subject knowledge, AP Seminar and AP Research use an interdisciplinary approach to develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills.

Students typically take AP Seminar in grade 10 or 11, followed by AP Research. Each course is yearlong, and AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research. In both courses, students investigate a variety of topics in multiple disciplines and have the opportunity to choose topics to explore.

Both courses guide students through completing a research project, writing an academic paper, and making a presentation on their project.

Over the course of the two-year program, students are required to:

  • Analyze topics through multiple lenses to construct meaning, gain understanding.
  • Plan and conduct a study or investigation.
  • Propose solutions to real-world problems.
  • Plan and produce communication in various forms.
  • Collaborate to solve a problem.
  • Integrate, synthesize, and make cross-curricular connections.

Awards

Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing receive the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP Exams receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

College Credit

Most colleges in California that grant credit for these courses are either CSUs or Community Colleges. Use the credit policy search tool on the College Board website to find colleges and universities that offer credit and/or placement for a qualifying score in AP Seminar, AP Research, or both:

Find Colleges and Universities That Grant Credit for AP Seminar and AP Research

COURSES

AP Seminar (Grade: 10-11; Elective Credit: 10) *Available beginning 2021-22

AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments. UC A-G approved – b English. NCAA approved.

Prerequisite: Application. Semester grade of C+ or better in most recent English and Social Studies courses.

AP Research (Grade: 11-12; Elective Credit: 10) *Available beginning 2022-23

AP Research, the second course in the AP Capstone experience, allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, issue, or idea of individual interest. Students design, plan, and implement a yearlong investigation to address a research question. Through this inquiry, they further the skills they acquired in the AP Seminar course by learning research methodology, employing ethical research practices, and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information. Students reflect on their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of their scholarly work through a process and reflection portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of 4,000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance, exhibit, or product) and a presentation with an oral defense. UC A-G approved – g College Preparatory Elective. NCAA approved.

Prerequisite: AP Seminar is a prerequisite for AP Research. Completing AP Seminar and all its required assessment components is necessary for students to develop the skills to be successful in AP Research.)

Other Course Offerings

SFHS encourages its students to reach out – to explore new horizons, to get involved in global concerns and to help shape ideas and technologies of the future.

  • Christian Service Leadership
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Student Leadership
  • Student Intern
  • The Canticle (Yearbook)
  • Math Lab 1
  • Academic Teams:
    • Academic Decathlon
    • Certamen
    • Mock Trial
    • Model United Nations Team
    • Robotics Team
    • Science Olympiad
    • Speech