- Gail McKinzie High
What is most important is that we have the chance to see our senior students graduate and reach a successful end to their high school journey. All intended graduates must successfully complete and pass their current courses in order to meet their graduation requirements. There is no room for error. School attendance and focused academic work is critical to student achievement. Students must make sure they do everything they can to fulfill their high school goals. If there is anything they need help with, please make sure to ask as soon as possible. Time is passing quickly. We want to see everyone come out successful in the end.
The Gail McKinzie graduation celebration will take place at GMHS on May 23, 2024.
Class of 2024 Information:
Students will complete coursework leading to graduation through:
- Small student-teacher ratios.
- Standard, .5 credit direct instruction courses.
- Utilization of online district curriculum.
- An instructional assistant in many classrooms.
- Organizational, Life, and Social Skills curriculum.
ENGLISH 1 - LITERATURE, LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
This course targets literary analysis through study of myth, short story, novel, poetry, and drama. Descriptive, expository, argumentative, and narrative writing, as well as basic research techniques and speaking skills are emphasized. In addition, students will refine grammar and usage skills through the writing process and effective composition strategies.
ENGLISH 2 – AMERICAN LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
This course includes the study of American Literature from colonial through contemporary periods using thematic strands. Students will read journals, biographies, essays, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry representing American authors of various ethnic backgrounds. The literature will promote students’ analytical abilities and will encourage critical thinking through the writing of expository, argumentative, and narrative essays. Speaking and listening skills are also emphasized.
ENGLISH 3 – COMPARATIVE STUDIES AND COMPOSITION
This required course continues college preparation of language and composition through a skills-based study of a wide variety of texts representing multiple cultures and genres. Students will utilize skills to critically analyze information, synthesize valid sources, and develop cogent arguments while implementing 21st-century skills and technologies.
ENGLISH 4 – MEDIA COMMUNICATION AND COMPOSITION
This course focuses on various aspects of film study including the technical viewpoint, the historical significance, and the visual approaches used to demonstrate thematic ideas in film. The goal of this course is for students to become visually literate, critical thinkers, and evaluative writers when interpreting, evaluating, and analyzing film and media. Students will focus on communication skills needed to effectively connect with others as well as on logically developing ideas with appropriate evidence, clear and precise language, and varied sentence structure. To show mastery, students will respond through a variety of venues such as written analyses and class presentations. This class will hone critical thinking and composition skills learned in previous English courses while instructing students on the concept of visual literacy. This course is not NCAA core approved.
ENGLISH 4 – 20TH CENTURY LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
This course allows seniors the opportunity to read a variety of contemporary novels, plays, and short stories. Building on textual knowledge, critical thinking, and composition skills developed in previous English classes, students will question and determine the role of contemporary literature in society through a variety of written analyses, class presentations, and quarterly projects.
ENGLISH 4 – COMMUNICATION AND COMPOSITION
This course concentrates on communicating effectively in the academic environment, personal relation-ships, daily activities, and professional settings. Students will utilize and refine their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students will focus on logically developing ideas with appropriate evidence, clear and precise language, and varied sentence structure. They will learn how to effectively communicate in different settings through instruction on teamwork, problem solving, technological application, leadership skills, and interaction with people in various roles and work situations, all to help them become successful communicators in the world beyond high school.
The study of world geography provides students with a strong foundation for future social studies courses. Students will learn about the complex interrelation of physical, cultural, and economic geography. An emphasis is placed on the historical and political changes occurring within each region of study and the impact the geographic factors have on the day-to-day lives of people. Throughout the course, students will also analyze and develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of global issues: human rights, genocide, disease, overpopulation, resources, environmental dangers, world trade, emerging nationhood, and independence. The major world religions will also be studied. Students will develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Regular homework reading beyond the textbook will be required. This course satisfies the freshman Social Studies graduation requirement.
UNITED STATES HISTORY
This course is a comprehensive study focusing on major themes and concepts essential to understanding American economic, political, and social institutions. Learning emphasizes analytical writing, interpreting historical documents, developing both written and oral communication skills, understanding cause and effect relationships, discovering the significance of people, places, and events impacting U.S. history, and applying historical principles in today’s world. This course satisfies the American History graduation requirement.
Government introduces the student to the basic principles of political science. Emphasis is placed on students becoming part of an active citizenry. The semester course covers the foundations of government, the Constitution, political parties, campaigns, and the three branches of American Government. Group and individual projects are utilized. This course satisfies federal and state constitutional graduation requirements and satisfies the government graduation requirement.
MATH 200 (Placement required)
This course stresses the applications of skills developed in Math 100. Practical applications used in everyday life situations will be emphasized. This course will cover pre-Algebra and some basic Geometry skills. Note-taking and study skills will be stressed. A TI-30X calculator (or equivalent) is required. This course is not NCAA core approved.
MATH 300 (Placement required)
Emphasis in this course is on basic Algebra skills, including studying and graphing linear and quadratic equations, and further exploring Geometry concepts developed from Math 200. An integration of Algebra and Geometry will be covered. Note-taking and study skills will be stressed. A TI-30X (or equivalent) calculator is required. This course is not NCAA core approved.
ALGEBRA 1 (Placement required)
This course is designed for those students who struggled in pre-Algebra and need more time to process and develop these skills. The course covers Algebra 1 topics including solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations and inequalities in one and two unknowns. There are activity-based units in this course. Note-taking and study skills are stressed and formalized. Students in this class, oftentimes are also scheduled in a math support course ACCESS MATH for an opportunity for pre-teaching, re-teaching, remediation, and reinforcement. Students earn an elective credit for ACCESS MATH.
Algebra 1 is a one-year course that develops numerical and graphing systems. Solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations and inequalities in one and two unknowns and related polynomial functions are covered. Note-taking and study skills are stressed and formalized.
Emphasis is placed on problem-solving and geometric proofs through inductive and deductive reason-ing. The course includes topics such as geometry relative to the real number system, distance concepts, angles, triangles, geometric inequalities, parallel and perpendicular lines in space, planes, polygons, and circles. Right-triangle trigonometry is introduced. A graphing calculator, compass, and protractor are required.
GEOMETRY SURVEY (Placement required)
Geometry Survey covers all the basic geometry concepts, using problem-solving through inductive and deductive reasoning, but with little emphasis on formal proofs. The course includes topics such as distance concepts, angles, triangles, geometric inequalities, parallel and perpendicular lines and planes, polygons, circles, and spatial figures and their properties. Right-triangle trigonometry is introduced. A graphing calculator, compass, and protractor are required. Students in this class often are also scheduled in a math support course ACCESS MATH for an opportunity for pre-teaching, re-teaching, remediation, and reinforcement. Students earn an elective credit for ACCESS MATH.
ALGEBRA 2 (Placement required)
This course is devoted to providing an understanding of advanced algebra topics and expanding on the concepts of Algebra 1. A graphing calculator is required. If a student intends to take Pre-Calculus the following year, Trigonometry during the summer is required.
Life Science presents concepts in laboratory science that are built upon those studied in eighth grade general science. This science course is offered for those students who require additional support with math and reading skills. It is a course with a concentration in the areas of general plant and animal life, systems, structures and functions. This course is not NCAA core approved.
This laboratory class is the traditional biology course. It is organized and conducted to provide students with a sound and comprehensive understanding of biology. Strong emphasis is given to understanding fundamental biological processes and how they apply to our lives.
This course provides students with a solid foundation of physical science and the laboratory techniques used to test and support such knowledge. One semester is an introduction to the principles of chemistry; the other is an introduction to the principles of physics
ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCE
This college preparatory course will challenge students to sharpen their awareness of how the natural world functions and empowers students to function positively in the real world as a living human. This course forces the student to recognize their interdependence with many aspects of the Earth’s systems. EES will explore plate tectonics, landscaping forces, food production, water consumption, climate change and weather. Ultimately, students will connect their impact to each of these systems.
EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE
This college preparatory course investigates the uniqueness of Earth and illustrates how Earth is part of a bigger universal system. Students will compare how the objects of our universe form and compare them in order to better understand the origins of Earth and how it changes through time. ESS will explore the origins of the universe, how we observe the universe, the structure of our solar system and the geological history of Earth.
This one-semester course introduces students to the world of business. Topics covered include types of business ownership, marketing, accounting, human resources, management, finance, ethics, and economics. These concepts are presented through classroom discussion and project-based learning. Students are encouraged to take this course prior to further study in business such as Management, Accounting, Marketing, and Advertising.
Consumer Economics, a required course, will integrate economic concepts with consumer skills, a combination necessary for added satisfaction in the use of personal resources. Instruction will center on the student’s role in the economy as a citizen, consumer, and worker. Topics will include money management, buying goods and services, housing, banking and the Federal Reserve System, financial institutions and the use of credit and loans, consumer protection, insurance, savings and investing, pricing of products, supply and demand, taxation, government, and the free enterprise system.
US HISTORY THROUGH FILM
This course is divided into themes of study centered on the life in 20th century America. Students will research topics to gather background information on the people, places, and events being depicted in the films viewed. Students will draw on their knowledge of history and filmmaking to analyze and critique films and to determine their historical accuracy.
STREET LAW 1
Street Law will provide students with a practical understanding of law and the legal system. Through this class students will gain a better understanding of the roles that law, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and the legal system play in our society.
STREET LAW 2
Street Law II is open to students who have successfully completed Street Law I. Students' interests drive the curriculum selection for this semester course. Current areas of study are the death penalty, juvenile justice, and 1st Amendment rights.
CONNECTIONS: MUSIC AND CULTURE TO 1970
This course emphasizes music's impact on American society. Students will examine the basic elements of psychology, sociology, and human social behavior. Emphasis will be placed on the history of rock and roll, the British invasion, Motown, and social protest music. Students will connect the psychological/ sociological structures of America with the influence popular music imposes on those structures.
CONNECTIONS: MUSIC AND CULTURE FROM 1970
This course emphasizes music's impact on American society. Students will examine the basic elements of psychology, sociology, and human social behavior. Emphasis will be placed on the sounds of the 70's, the 80's and excess, alternative nation, and the many faces of hip hop. Throughout the semester, students will connect the psychological/sociological structures of America with the influence popular music imposes on those structures.
Senior Life Connect: Study Skills
This course allows students to explore the various opportunities available to them beyond high school. Topics include career and college exploration, resume building, job and college applications, and independent living. Students will also discuss and practice healthy financial and budgeting habits.
LIFE 101: TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR DAILY LIFE
This class provides students with a practical understanding of the life skills necessary to achieve personal satisfaction through practical activities that encourage self-respect, responsibility, and attention to the details of living well. The class covers topics such as independent living skills, food and nutrition, fundamental cooking skills, building and maintaining healthy relationships, and child care and development.
PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
This course is focused on individual and personal development and critical thinking skills while emphasizing strengthening self-esteem, recognizing and resisting negative peer pressure, and developing coping skills for dealing with changes within one’s self and within others. It teaches students the social skills needed for independent functioning within the community. Topics may include self-control, self-expression, obeying rules, decision-making, appropriate situational behavior, interacting with others, and maintaining relationships. The goal is for the student to develop independence, self-confidence, and self-reliance.
Self-Management courses introduce students to the skills and strategies helpful in becoming more focused, productive individuals. These courses typically emphasize goal-setting; decision-making; managing time, energy, and stress; and identifying alternatives and coping strategies. They may also allow students to explore various career and lifestyle choices. Topics may include self-control, self-expression, obeying rules, decision making, appropriate situational behavior, interacting with others, and maintaining relationships.
This study skills course prepares students for success in high school and/or for postsecondary education. Students taking this course need extra support to help them stay current in their other courses as well as reinforce skills and content from their other classes. Course topics may vary according to the students involved, but typically include reading improvement skills, such as scanning, note-taking, and outlining; library and research skills; listening and note-taking; vocabulary skills; and test-taking skills. The courses may also include exercises designed to generate organized, logical thinking and writing.
This math skills course prepares students for success in high school and/or for postsecondary education. Course topics may vary according to the students involved, but typically include remediating, pre-teaching and re-teaching math concepts required to be prepared and successful in the traditional Algebra and Geometry courses. Students also work on listening, note-taking, vocabulary and test-taking skills. The courses may also include exercises designed to generate organized, logical thinking and writing.
This study skills course prepares students for success in high school and/or for postsecondary education. This course is intended for students who struggle in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and who may be taking more than one English course in a semester. A heavy focus is placed on the writing process with students being encouraged to refine writing products to their highest quality. Course topics may vary according to the students involved, but typically include reading improvement skills, such as scanning, note-taking, and outlining; library and research skills; listening and note-taking; vocabulary skills; and test-taking skills. The courses may also include exercises designed to generate organized, logical thinking and writing.
Physical fitness and knowledge of activities will continue to be developed, along with leadership and teamwork. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities to enhance their fitness level. Units may include: Personal Fitness, Softball, Golf, Football, Badminton, Lacrosse, Indoor Hockey, Volleyball, Pickleball, Table Tennis, Basketball, and Soccer.
This course is incorporated into the Physical Education curriculum at the tenth-grade level. It includes the following areas of study: wellness, stress management male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology*, mental health human growth and development*, suicide prevention abstinence*, coping with loss birth control*, aging, death, and dying marriage and the family*, nutrition sexually transmitted diseases*, prevention and control of disease injury prevention and safety, prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse.
*Parents may review course materials used in the instruction of these units and elect to have their child study alternative materials during the time allotted for a unit.