Sandia Prep - Curriculum Guide: 2016-2017


Sandia Preparatory School's Middle & Upper School Curriculum Guide: 2016-2017

Curriculum Guide

Middle School & Upper School

2016 - 2017

532 Osuna Road NE • Albuquerque, NM 87113

505.338.3000 • 505.338.3099 (fax) •


The joy of learning and living is at the center of all we do.

Sandia Preparatory School provides remarkable opportunities for intellectual and

personal growth within a challenging and balanced program.

As an extension of our families, Sandia Prep’s diverse community inspires

students to find their academic focus, talents, and creativity.


At Sandia Prep, we will inspire our students to discover their

purposes in the world by:

Developing essential skills and intellectual potential

through challenging academics;

Cultivating a socially responsible environment

of innovation and creativity; and

Engaging as a vibrant community for the betterment of society.


The Sandia Prep Program .................................................................................... 1

Sandia Prep Faculty ............................................................................................ 2

Programs Unique to Prep

Odyssey Scholars Program ..................................................................... 3

Distinguished Scholars Program ............................................................ 3

Senior Experience .................................................................................. 3

Independent Study ................................................................................. 4

6th & 7th Grade Rotations .................................................................................. 5

Middle School Course Requirements .................................................................. 6

Upper School Course Requirements .................................................................. 7

English ................................................................................................................11

Mathematics ....................................................................................................... 14

Science ................................................................................................................19

History .............................................................................................................. 23

Modern Language ............................................................................................... 25

Performing Arts .................................................................................................. 28

Visual Arts .......................................................................................................... 31

Digital Media & Communications ...................................................................... 33

Physical Fitness ................................................................................................... 36


Open the doors to our classrooms and you will find lively discussion and debate about

books and ideas, students working together to solve problems and interpret lab data,

presentations on research projects, building with 3-D printers or dismantling machines in

the S.P.A.C.E., painting, sculpting, singing, and acting. We know our students learn best

when they are engaged so our teaching is geared toward active learning, critical thinking,

and collaboration. Our courses are challenging and our expectations high, and we are

passionate about seeing all of our students succeed.

The Sandia Prep curriculum is designed to prepare our students with a first-rate academic

foundation, one that is skill solid and knowledge rich. But our classes also are designed to

give our students wings, to encourage them to discover an intellectual passion, and soar.

Every department at Sandia Prep offers advanced classes, as well as the chance to take

multiple classes in the same discipline in one year. In Upper School Science, for example,

students may choose to take Advanced Physics along with Planetary Astronomy. In Math,

Calculus 2 might be paired with Data Analysis, and in History, Intercultural Communication

with Contemporary American History through Film.


The Prep faculty is varied, experienced, and talented, with rich interests and backgrounds.

More than 50% of our faculty hold advanced degrees and over 63% have been at Prep for

ten years or more. Among this group are accomplished individuals who have worked for the

Associated Press, engineering firms, and museums. Some have owned their own business,

practiced law, served in the military or as first responders. The Prep faculty boasts several

published authors, award-winning musicians, professional performers, and celebrated artists.

Our faculty has lived, studied, and worked in all regions of the United States, from East Coast

to West Coast, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, England, France, Germany,

Ghana, the Haute Savoie, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nepal, Poland, Puerto

Rico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Our teachers feel passionately about giving our students a global awareness. They have taken

students on trips to the border fence at Juarez, Mexico, on humanitarian service trips to the

Dominican Republic and Haiti, Guatemala, Oaxaca, Bhutan, and post-Katrina affected areas.

They also lead educational trips to Cuba, China, Japan, Butan, France, Spain, Central America,

New York, and Washington, DC.

A Sandia Prep education positions our students well for admission to college. Each year, one

hundred percent of our seniors are accepted into a four-year college. Most importantly, Prep

graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of college work. We know this because we

ask. Our alumni surveys, as well as the colleges they attend, tell us our students have the

skills, the knowledge, the social skills, and the discipline to succeed at the collegiate level.

When a professor assigns a critical essay or a research paper, Prep students know exactly

what to do. They write sophisticated lab reports easily and ace College Calculus.

Several of our students are headed to medical school. Another has just discovered through

her work in Mock Trial that she wants to become a lawyer. One of our students is interested

in organic farming. We have aspiring nuclear physicists, politicians, and inventors. We take

very seriously our responsibility to teach and prepare each student for college and the world.

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The Odyssey Scholars Program

As with Homer’s Odysseus, our Odyssey Scholars set out on an epic journey of learning and

discovery developed around an area of study which they are passionate about. Odyssey Scholars

challenge themselves academically, intellectually, and creatively by participating in a two-year

course of study emphasizing rigorous research guided by mentors in the field. The program

culminates in a major public presentation. This program combines the elements of Independent

Study, Senior Experience, and research (capstone) projects. Students may apply for the program

at the end of sophomore year.

Independent Study for Seniors

Seniors wishing to explore an area of study more deeply may do so one year or one semester

through independent study. To register for independent study students must:

1. Choose a faculty mentor.

2. Submit a proposal outlining the purpose of the course, the materials used, assignments,

assessments, and a schedule of meetings with a faculty advisor.

3. Complete a registration form (pick up from Assistant Head for Academics.)

A student must take six courses in addition to the independent study.

Reminder: One year of independent study equals 1/2 credit; one semester equal 1/4 credit.

The Distinguished Scholars Program

The Distinguished Scholars Program is centered around classes offered at Sandia Prep. Students

accepted into the program will choose to take additional classes. Students must maintain a 3.5

grade point average throughout the program term. With these additional classes students will

graduate with 28+ credit hours and a Certificate of Distinction.

Senior Experience

The final month of the senior year is devoted to allowing students to pursue their particular

passion. Each senior chooses a project to complete, a profession to shadow, or a topic to

research, and under the guidance of a faculty mentor, works independently off campus.

Senior Experience culminates with a night of student presentations for the School, parents, and

anyone from the community. We gather to listen to the Seniors share the lessons they learned,

the music or book they wrote, the connections they made, and the new awareness and insights

they gained. As teachers, we often think back to these same students as sixth graders and marvel

at their skill, knowledge, and maturity.

Some topics from years past include:

• Conquering Code

• Oral Surgery

• Photographic Marketing

• Property Law

• Exploring Asia

• Speech Pathology

• Tiwa Language Program

• Support of Salmon Restoration/Marine Biology



Sixth and Seventh Grade Rotations

The Sandia Prep rotation cycle allows students to sample many courses in one year, and

to begin knowing their own talents and interests or find new ones. Sixth and seventh grade

rotates every quarter.

Sixth-Grade Rotation Courses

Seventh-Grade Rotation Courses

Art - Sixth Grade Art includes sculpting

Art – Seventh Grade Art includes drawing

a pinch pot creature, creating an African

still life and landscapes, making collages

mask, throwing a bowl on the pottery wheel, and pouches from felting wool, personal

painting a self-portrait, and using charcoal mascot flags, abstracts, self/animal portraits,

and chalk pastels to create an abstract

masks, coil pots, and totem poles.


Photography - Introduction to black

Digital Media - After familiarizing the class and white photography, use of a 35 mm

with the technology available at Sandia

camera, working in a darkroom, pinhole

Prep, students learn typing, word processing, cameras, and enlargements give seventh

multimedia presentations, internet research, grade students a hands-on experience.

and are introduced to computer coding.

Drama – Drama students choose the

Theater and Dance - Improvisations, theater play and make it happen, from costumes

games, creative dramatic presentations,

and lighting, to rehearsals and final

videos, and the basics of ballet and jazz give performances.

students the chance to acquire confidence as

speakers and performers.

Digital Media - A variety of basic

computer skills are introduced, including

Music - The music rotation includes the

spreadsheets, databases, graphics,

fundamentals of voice and instruments, music animation, computer programming, and

literacy, and reading a score.

others. Additionally, students will spend

time learning the inner workings of the

computer and how data gets processed and



We believe it is important for middle

school students to learn skills in context.

In particular, we teach thinking and

study skills in each discipline rather than

teaching them individually. At Sandia

Prep, we want our students to discover the

connections between subjects and to use

these discoveries to explore and understand

the world around them.


Our middle school is a lively place where

students develop close relationships with

teachers and with their fellow students. We

believe this web of relationships makes it

possible for our students to take risks in a

variety of areas. They can learn where their

talents lie and develop the skills they need

to grow intellectually and academically.

Subject Grade 6

Grade 7 Grade 8

English English 6




Art & Media

Modern Language

Physical Education/



Foundation of


General Science

World Cultures &


Rotation: Art, Theater

and Dance, Music,

Digital Media

French or Spanish

6th Grade PE

Chorus, Guitar,

Strings, Jazz Band,

or Study Hall

English 7 English 8

7th Grade Mathematics

or Pre-Algebra

Life Science

New Mexico History

and the West

Rotation: Art,

Photography, Theater,

Digital Media

French 1A or

Spanish 1A

7th Grade PE

Chorus, Guitar,

Strings, Jazz Band,

or Study Hall

Algebra 1A or

Algebra 1

Physical Science

8th Grade History

Musical Theater Production,

Digital Filmmaking,

Journalism, Art,


French 1B or

Spanish 1B

8th Grade PE

Chorus, Guitar,

Strings, Jazz Band,

or Study Hall




Students Entering Grade 9 in 2016-17 School Year

Students Entering Grade 9 in 2016-17 School Year



Number of Credits

Required Courses

Curriculum Overview

Our upper school curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to test

their talents and to develop their skills in a variety of academic disciplines. We require

students to take courses in English, mathematics, science, history, modern language, arts,


4 credits

English 9 (1 credit)

English 10 (1 credit)

English 11 (1 credit)

2 semester-length English courses (1/2 credit each)

communications, and physical education. We also offer students the opportunity to pursue

their academic interests in depth, either in elective courses in the various disciplines or in

Math 220 (Algebra 2)

(1 credit)

an independent study program.


3 credits

Math 320 (Geometry)

(1 credit)

Class Load and Promotion

1 year-long math course (1 credit)

The required class load is six courses per year. While the school makes no guarantee that

additional classes may be scheduled, exceptions may be made. A 2.00 grade point average

(GPA) is the cutoff grade for promotion. A student must have a 2.00 GPA at the end of each


3 credits

Geology (1 credit)

Biology (1 credit)

A third year of laboratory science (1 credit)

marking period and a cumulative 2.00 GPA at the end of each school year to be asked to



3 credits

World History 1 (1 credit)

World History 2 (1 credit)

American History (1 credit)

Graduation Requirements

Students must have 23.5 upper school credits and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 to

graduate. Of the 23.5 credits, 18.5 are to be distributed as described on the following page

and taken during upper school years; 5 additional credits are taken from any department.

Modern Language

2 credits 2 years of 1 language in Upper School (1 credit each)

Arts 1 credit 1 year of Visual or Performing Arts (1 credit)

Physical Education

1 credit

At least 1 year-long course in any grade (1 credit)

Digital Media &


1/2 credit

1 semester of Communication (1/2 credit)

Additional Arts/


1 credit

1 additional year of Visual, Performing OR

Communications (1 credit)



5 credits

From any department

Successful Completion of Senior Experience




Students Entering Grades 10-12 in 2016-17 School Year

Students Entering Grades 10-12 in 2016-17 School Year

Curriculum Overview

Our upper school curriculum is designed to provide students with the opportunity to test



Number of Credits

Required Courses

their talents and to develop their skills in a variety of academic disciplines. We require

students to take courses in English, mathematics, science, history, modern language, arts,

communications, and physical education. We also offer students the opportunity to pursue

their academic interests in depth, either in elective courses in the various disciplines or in


4 credits

English 9 (1 credit)

English 10 (1 credit)

English 11 (1 credit)

2 semester-length English courses (1/2 credit each)

(Seniors will need four 1/2 credit English classes.)

an independent study program.

Math 220 (Algebra 2)

(1 credit)

Class Load and Promotion

The required class load is six courses per year. While the school makes no guarantee that

additional classes may be scheduled, exceptions may be made. A 2.00 grade point average


3 credits

Math 320 (Geometry)

(1 credit)

1 year-long math course (1 credit)

(GPA) is the cutoff grade for promotion. A student must have a 2.00 GPA at the end of each

marking period and a cumulative 2.00 GPA at the end of each school year to be asked to



3 credits

Geology (1 credit)

Biology (1 credit)

A third year of laboratory science (1 credit)

Graduation Requirements

Students must have 23 upper school credits and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 to


3 credits

World History 1 (1 credit)

World History 2 (1 credit)

American History (1 credit)

graduate. Of the 23 credits, 18 are to be distributed as described on the following page and

taken during Upper School years; 5 additional credits taken from any department.

Modern Language

2 credits

2 years of 1 language in Upper School (1 credit each)

Arts and


2 credits

1 year of Visual or Performing Arts (1 credit)

1 year additional Arts OR Communications (1 credit)

Physical Education

1 credit

At least 1 year-long course in any grade (1 credit)



5 credits

From any department

Successful Completion of Senior Experience




Our English program provides students

with the opportunity to explore

literature in depth, with a particular

emphasis on American and British

works. We seek to teach our students

to identify recurring themes in this

literature and to help them gain a

familiarity with its various forms.

One of the most essential components

of our English curriculum is writing.

We expect, teach, and encourage

our students to gain skill and power

in many forms of their own written


During each senior semester, students

chose an English course that most

appeals to them. These semesterlong

courses offer a variety of topics

including global literature, short stories,

British literature, and works concerning

the contemporary apocalyptic scene.

English 6

Sixth-grade English offers the opportunity

for more intensive study of both reading

and writing. Each literary genre is

introduced through a wide selection

of readings, both current and classic,

including the study of myth. Students

read extensively and deeply, beginning

the process of literary analysis. Writing

is an ever-present instruction in English

6. From clear expression through

syntax, vocabulary, and grammar to the

development of ideas and individual

voice, sixth graders practice formal essays,

journals, narratives, and creative writing.

English 7

Seventh-grade English deepens the study

of reading and writing begun the previous

year. A mixture of novels, short stories,

plays, and poetry are chosen to encourage

students to develop some independence

in discovering meaning. Through class

discussion, students discern literary threads

and connections, which they then write

about. As in the sixth-grade class, English 7

requires writing of all kinds.

English 9

Through rich and vigorous classroom

discussions, students engage with literature

— both classical and contemporary —

and expository essay-writing to enhance

analytical thinking. Students learn how

to strengthen their skills as writers of

formal literary criticism. Student editing is

encouraged when appropriate. Informal inclass

writing and regular vocabulary study

are also included in the course.

English 10

Sophomore English looks at works chosen

from many cultures, studied with an eye

to their point of view or to the narrator’s

context within his or her culture. Emphasis

is on the student’s development of his or

her writing, the student’s interpretive skills,

and the student’s greater craft in structuring

an argument and in using precise language

in presenting that argument.

English 10 - Writing Workshop


In our globally connected world, we

recognize the valuable role effective writing

English 8

plays in our students’ success, yet we also

The texts in this class are varied, both in

recognize that not every student’s strength

genre and period, and writing of all kinds

lies in his or her writing skills. Because we

is extensive. The focus of the eighth-grade

want every Prep graduate to be a confident

year of English is on student discovery.

writer, a full-year Writing Workshop

Students in English 8 learn to think through

elective is offered to sophomores. Our goal

a text independently, forming ideas about

centers on helping students develop their

meaning, and sharing them in class

skills, from grammar and punctuation to

discussion. Analysis papers develop a thesis

style and clarity. Taught by members of the

the student has proposed and is adept at

English Department, the Writing Workshop


will include lessons on written expression

across disciplines, supplementing the

11 12

instruction students receive in other classes,

and focusing on how to write effectively

in science, history, and literature, among

other fields. Additionally, students will

learn how to adapt to various style formats:

Chicago Manual of Style in history,

MLA in English, and APA in science and

psychology. One day a week will be set

aside to help students with their writing

assignments, such as a lab report in science

or a research paper in history. Importantly,

the Writing Workshop will add only

minimally to a student’s homework load,

with most assignments completed inside

the classroom. We know this isn’t every

student’s idea of a thrill ride, but our intent

is to create an enjoyable, dynamic class.

Who knows: you may even discover a

hidden passion. Note: This English elective

does not count towards the 4 English

credits required for graduation, but does

count as a general elective.

English 11 - American Literature

Students explore selected works from the

American canon that reflect the diversity

and complexity of the evolving American

experience. Beginning with selections

from the Native American oral tradition,

this survey course then traces evolution

of American literature from the early

Colonial Period to the modern era. Students

study works of fiction, nonfiction, and

poetry as they become familiar with key

themes in American literature and their

corresponding historical, political, and

economic contexts.


Seniors are required to take English both

semesters of the year.

Fall Semester Options:

Global Literature

Students expand their cultural awareness

as they study masterworks of fiction,

nonfiction, and poetry from around the

world. By examining the texts’ literary,

historical, and cultural contexts, students

will gain an understanding of the enduring

themes that unite traditions in literature.

Early British Literature

Early British Literature examines the

development of literature in England from

Beowulf through the Romantic Period.

Students watch Beowulf battle monsters,

walk the long, dusty pilgrimage with

Chaucer’s pilgrims, and experience the

power of nature felt by the Romantics.

The authors that are studied write from

within the context of their immediate life

and culture, but each offers a timeless,

universal vision of what it means to be

human and the truths still relevant.

Nonfiction Literature

Explores the works of authors whose

literary techniques and artistic visions

portray real people struggling with real

conflicts. As students examine personal

essays, memoirs, and literary journalism,

among other subgenres, they will analyze

how writers use style and structure to

captivate readers and, in many cases, offer

commentary on the human condition.

Spring Semester Options:

Short Stories

Much of the finest American, Canadian,

and South American writing of the 20th

and 21st centuries consist of short stories.

This course will study the genre with an

eye to what exactly constitutes a short

story and to what variety there exists in the


Late British Literature

Later British Literature includes the study of

British works from the Victorians to Monty

Python. As students encounter each text,

they will pay attention not only to the work

itself and its meanings, but also to the

historical context that produced it. From

the Victorians almost repressive sense of

conformity and morality to the irreverent

humor of Monty Python - how does one

culture produce such extremes?

Contemporary Apocalyptic Scene

How do people conduct themselves

when their ways of life come to an end,

when society as they know it changes

so drastically that they lose their cultural

bearings and, in some cases, their very

identities? Contemporary Apocalyptic

Scene examines the strength of the human

spirit through the eyes of authors whose

characters cope with isolation against a

backdrop of loss, of revolution, or of social



Math must be about more than

simple manipulation of numbers,

formulas, and theorems. It is,

instead, about imagining, predicting,

verifying, analyzing, solving, and


Our mathematics program

encourages such creative thinking

first by equipping students with strong

foundational skills. Skills are taught,

then passed from grade level to grade

level through intentional review and

practice. At each grade, whether

Algebra 1 or Calculus 2, students

apply those skills through tasks and

projects such as building bridges,

calculating risk for an intergalactic

exploration, and creating fractals.

Our math classes are often

energetic, busy spaces with students

collaborating on problem sets

and working through challenging

equations. Whether students are on

the path to Pre-Calculus or Advanced

Data Analysis, we know that this

close study of the order and logic of

their world will lead them to more

questions than answers. And that’s

exactly what we hope for.

13 14

Math 6 - Foundations of


In this course, students develop skills in

basic calculations with whole numbers,

decimals, and fractions while deepening

their understanding of number systems

and problem-solving techniques.

The curriculum includes a variety of

mathematical experiences, including

the use of calculators, games, and other

manipulatives. Whenever possible,

students apply the mathematical concepts

they have studied to real-life situations and

examples. They also investigate additional

topics, including ratios and percents,

measurement, number theory, and statistics

and probability.

Sequential course: Math 7 or Pre-Algebra

Math 7

The intent of this course is to strengthen

the concepts necessary for students to

be successful in future algebra programs.

Covered topics include number sense

involving fractions, integers, and decimals,

solving equations and inequalities:

one, two, and multi steps, factors

and exponents, rational numbers and

equations, ratios, proportions, and percent.

Students will become familiar with a

higher level of abstraction in mathematics.

The focus will be on using whole numbers,

rational numbers, and integers in linear

equations and inequalities, geometry, and

working with related word problems and


Sequential course: Beginning Algebra


Grade 7

This course strengthens students’

mathematical skills through practical

problem-solving application and

thoroughly develops the abstract

foundations necessary for the study of

algebra. Students investigate integers,

graphs, variables, open equations and

inequalities, basic geometry, statistics,

word problems, formulas, rational

numbers, and measurement. The

concepts and procedures of mathematics

are investigated and developed through

defining and solving problems, reasoning,

communication of knowledge and

understanding, and the connection of

mathematical ideas to other disciplines

with real-life applications.

Sequential course: Math 120 - Algebra 1

Beginning Algebra

Grade 8

This is the first year of a two-year long

algebra course. It is designed for the 8th

grader who would benefit from algebra

being covered in two years instead of

one, so that they might fully master the

concepts needed for higher mathematics.

Students investigate order of operations,

algebraic equation, linear equations

inequalities, and absolute values.

Additionally, they will work on deepening

understanding of problem-solving

techniques. The curriculum includes a

variety of mathematical experiences,

including the use of calculators, games,

and other manipulatives. Whenever

possible, students are encouraged to apply

the mathematic concepts they have studied

to real-life situations and examples.

Sequential course: Math 110 - Algebra 1

Math 110 - Algebra 1

Grade 8 and 9

(An 8th grade class, and also for those 9th

graders who have not yet taken Algebra 1)

This course continues the exploration of

algebraic concepts begun in Beginning

Algebra. Topics include linear systems,

properties of exponents, functions,

polynomials, factoring, solving quadratic

equations, rational expressions, radical

expressions, and the Pythagorean Theorem.

This course, combined with Beginning

Algebra, will provide students with a

thorough foundation of algebra.

Sequential course: Math 210 - Algebra 2

Math 120 - Algebra 1

Grade 8 and 9

(An 8th grade class, and also for those 9th

graders who have not yet taken Algebra 1

and for accelerated students coming from

Beginning Algebra)

This course provides a thorough

foundation in basic algebra essential to

the study of advanced mathematics. Topics

covered include operations involving

integers, fractions, and polynomials;

solving equations and inequalities; use of

formulas; factoring polynomials; graphing

linear equations; rational expressions and

equations; quadratic equations; linear

systems; word problems; and radical

expressions and equations.

Sequential course: Math 220 - Algebra 2

Math 220 - Algebra 2

Students apply and extend the concepts

studied in Algebra 120. They will study

the concepts of real and complex number

systems, factoring, function notation,

exponents, radicals, quadratic equations,

radical equations, conics, and matrices.

Sequential course: Math 320 - Geometry

Math 320 - Geometry

This course investigates Euclidean (plane)

geometry with the emphasis on intuitive

approaches and problem-solving. With

the increasing demand on how people

interact in face-to-face situations the class

is taught with the emphasis that everyone

in the class is tackling the topics discussed

together. A theme of cooperation and

a functioning awareness of small group

interaction is at the heart of the program.

Any technology implemented through the

curriculum is geared to create not only

individual investigation, but also partner

development. Programs such as the The

Geometer’s Sketchpad, desmos, symbolab,

and Khan Academy are woven into the

exploration of the following topics: formal

proofs along with considerable work with

constructions, logical reasoning, and rightangle


Sequential course: Math 420 - Precalculus

Math 420 - Pre-Calculus

The course aims to develop a foundation

for the continuing study of advanced

mathematics through a focus on the

central concepts of trigonometry and

functions. Topics include trigonometric

15 16

functions and their applications, vectors,

graphing techniques, and various

functional equations and inequalities (i.e.,

polynomial, rational, exponential, inverse,

and logarithmic functions).

Sequential course: Math 525 - Calculus

or Math 520 - Math Modeling and Data


Math 410 - Trigonometry

This year-long course investigates the

fundamental concepts of trigonometry.

Topics include functions, identities,

equations, graphs, and vectors.

Sequential course: Math 415 - Statistics

or Math 420 - Pre-calculus or Math 520 -

Math Modeling and Data Analysis

Math 415 - Statistics

Statistics is the science of collecting,

organizing, analyzing and drawing

conclusions from data. Statistics helps us

calculate and understand what a margin

of error is, for example, and when results

of a clinical trial are significant. Further,

the laws of probability tell us what is

most likely to happen when randomness

is involved. Collecting and interpreting

data is important in a wide variety of

professions, so training in the science of

statistics is valuable for many careers,

including business, research, medicine,

meteorology, education, social policy,

quality control, politics, sports and many

more. In this year-long course students

will acquire the skills and tools needed

to collect, analyze, and draw reasoned

conclusions from data. By the end of the

course they will be prepared for college-

level statistics, which is currently a

requisite for most college majors. More

importantly, perhaps, students will be able

to critically analyze and understand the

myriad numbers that bombard them on a

daily basis.

Prerequisite: Math 310 - Geometry or

Math 410 - Trigonometry or departmental


Math 520 - Math Modeling & Data

Analysis: Star Statistics

This course covers a variety of fundamental

topics in statistics as well as computational

methods for modeling data and processes.

Specific topics covered include: graphical

data representation, histograms, probability

distributions, normal curves, hypothesis

testing, mathematical modeling, agentbased

modeling, and simulation. Class

time will switch between the presentation

of new material and student-lead research

and decisions that will have lasting effects

on the Story Arc of the course.

Story Arc: Guide the story of the Starship

Sundevil as we travel through time and

culture. Wrangle random processes with

sophisticated mathematical tools. Plan the

starship’s budget for food, fuel, and other

supplies. Trade with alien cultures. Harness

the solar power of the variable star. Keep

the peace in the Trinary star system.

Suppress an outbreak of deadly disease on

the ship. Maximize resources harvested

from the asteroid belt. The Starship

Sundevil will travel far and wide, but it

needs a crew of creative mathematicians to

guide it. Are you up to the task?

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus or Computer


Programing 1 with the course instructor’s

permission or departmental approval

Math 525 - Calculus

Students study and develop facility in

applying the following fundamental

concepts of calculus: functions, limits,

continuities, derivatives, and integrals.

In addition, time is allotted to investigate

graphing, applications of derivatives and

integrals, volumes, fluid forces, moments,

and centers of mass.

Sequential course: Math 530 - Calculus 2

Math 530 - Calculus 2

Students review the following fundamental

concepts of Calculus: Functions, Limits,

Continuities, Derivatives, and Integrals.

The course then covers infinite sequences

and series, Polar coordinates and

conics, vectors, motion in space, partial

derivatives, and multiple integrals. Group

learning is emphasized along with the

creation of a collaborative study book.

Prerequisite: Math 525 - Calculus

Computer Programming/Coding 1

Grades 9-12

This year-long course will introduce

students to the basic components of

programming in Java and give students

the tools to write computer programs

of their own. Computer Programming/

Coding 1 begins with instruction in logical

reasoning, clarity, and organization of

thought. The computer programming

assignments will emphasize mastery of

variables, types, conditionals, loops,

functions, arrays, and more. Readability,

debugging, formatting, and organization

will be emphasized throughout the course.

It is assumed that the students have little or

no knowledge of computer programming.

However, a solid foundation in Algebra,

particularly comfort with the abstractions

therein, is an important component

necessary for success in this course.

Computer Programming/Coding 2

Grades 9-12

In this year-long Computer Programming/

Coding 2 class, students will immerse

themselves in more challenging problems

and learn more complex programming

constructs in the Java Programming

Language. The course begins with a study

of control flow, followed by principles of

Object Oriented Programming. Students

will design larger programs than they have

before. This will necessitate organization,

clarity of thought, and a renewed emphasis

on clear commenting. Students will also

be introduced to more advanced data

structures and a small amount of theory of




Science is not learned; it is discovered.

At Prep, science is active. We don’t

observe science. We do science. Our

middle school students plant and

harvest a garden. The ninth graders

learn geology in the rich landscape

of New Mexico. The Astronomy

class sleeps under the stars in Chaco

Canyon. The Anatomy class dissects

earthworms, pigs, and sharks. The

Biology class manipulates DNA. The

Environmental class treks to the river

for water samples.

Our science students go where the

data lies, to study it, and learn what it

tells us about our world. They acquire

the vision of a scientist, seeing deeply

by looking through a microscope at

the smallest particles of existence,

but also broadly as they encounter

environmental issues or planetary


We want our science students to

wonder, to ask, to probe, to uncover,

and to use the skills and facts we teach

to make a difference in the world.


Science 6 - General Science

Beginning scientists are introduced to

topics in life science, earth science,

and physical science. Students begin

learning to think like a scientist and to use

scientific methods with close observation,

clear communication, classification,

inference, hypothesis, interpretation, and

collaborative investigation. They practice

proper lab technique, explore and record

in their Lewis and Clark journals, collect

specimens for further study, learn the

skills of research in the LEAP (Learning

of Ecosystems of Albuquerque Project),

and experience multi-dimensional study

with technology. At the end of this sixthgrade

class, our students have the strong

foundational skills to build on as they

pursue advanced science courses in upper


Science 7 - Life Science

Students learn about and develop an

appreciation for the natural world through

field observations, research, projects,

and interactions with the community.

The course emphasizes units in botany,

genetics, ecology, evolution, human

biology, and health and wellness. Seventh

graders also oversee the school garden

and learn many of their scientific lessons

there, among the plants. Each fall, Prep

celebrates a Harvest Day, feasting on what

our students have grown and tended.

Science 8 - Physical Science

Students are introduced to chemistry and

physics as they study atoms, the periodic

table, chemical bonding and reactions,

radioactivity, mechanical forces, energy,

sound, and light. This course involves

lab work and the further development

of problem solving skills. At the end of

the year, students have familiarity with

skills and topics necessary for success

in our challenging upper school science



Grade 9

It would be unforgivable not to teach

Geology in New Mexico. Our climatic

conditions act to both expose and preserve

fine examples of the forces and materials

which have formed not only our state,

but our planet. Our students, as do many

scientists from around the world, visit and

investigate volcanoes at the Rio Grande

Rift (the third largest rift in the world), and

the Ojito Wilderness. They travel through

geologic time, studying sediment and rock

formations, and investigate the world of

paleontology. Knowledge of minerals,

fuels, and natural resources allow students

to understand the delicate relationship

between humans and the earth, the causes

and consequences of catastrophic geologic

events, and the history of humanity.

Advanced Geology

Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Geology 1 with a grade of

“B-” or better and/or permission of the

instructor, Algebra 2.

In Advanced Geology, students study New

Mexico geology using the Rio Grande rift

as a field study area to learn about local

rock formations, history of environments of

deposition, and the structural history of this


area. This leads to interpretive studies and

problem solving in structural geology and

stratigraphy. These areas will be correlated

with laboratory work using satellite

imagery, topographic maps, and geologic

maps. Field investigations include mapping

of various structures and rock types. During

the second semester, students take an

in-depth look at various research topics

including historical geology; paleontology

– the study of fossils in the geologic

record; and geologic resources and their

environmental, global, and economic


Molecular Biology

Grade 10

Prep’s Biology courses emphasis hands-on

laboratory work, such as enzyme reactions

on hydrogen peroxide, cell respiration

and fermentation, cell mitosis, and the

difference in electrical conductivity

between organic and inorganic

compounds. Students learn the basics

of biology, while concentrating on the

biochemical perspective such as molecular

structure, microscopy, cellular structures

and processes, and heredity.

Ecological Biology

Grade 10

Through close study of ecological systems,

this course leads students to an expanded

vision of the earth, its inhabitants, and

survival. Using scientific methods of data

gathering and interpretation, students

consider not only current systems of

diverse life forms, but they also look

ahead to anticipate the consequences of

environmental changes and decisions.

Advanced Biology

Grades 11-12

This highly challenging class allows

students to work deeply as biologists,

investigating the complex worlds of

genetics, DNA analysis, genetic testing,

and bacteria. Students work extensively on

laboratory skills, collaborating in teams to

predict, test, and problem solve.


Grade 11

In this foundational chemistry class,

students study a broad spectrum of related

topics, such as atoms, chemical reactions,

states of matter, gases, energy and heat,

and chemical equilibrium. Teams of

students perform labs to watch chemistry

in action, learning how to observe closely,

document, and draw conclusions.

Advanced Chemistry

Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Chemistry1 with a grade

of “B-” or better, Algebra 2, and/or

permission of the instructor.

Advanced Chemistry provides students

with the opportunity to investigate

chemical topics in more detail and to

apply chemical principles to a variety of

thematic content areas. Topics include

organic chemistry, chemical energy, fossil

fuels, nuclear energy, medicinal chemistry,

chemistry in art, materials science, and

environmental chemistry. This course

includes extensive laboratory work and

projects. Emphasis is placed on the

application of chemical principles to real

world problems such as the use of natural

resources, generating energy, and selection

of materials based on their chemical and

physical properties.


Grades 11-12

Students in physics study the interaction

of matter and energy, along with the

mathematics that describe and predict them.

Physics is a lab-based course that teaches

the essential concepts of physics, such as

kinematics, dynamics, energy and linear

momentum, thermodynamics, waves, sound,

optics, electric fields, and electromagnetism.

Advanced Physics

Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Physics

This challenging class offers students the

chance to advance their understanding of

many of the concepts covered in Physics, as

well as to study modern physics, including

nuclear physics, radioactivity, and decay.

Independent laboratory work, collaborative

projects, problem solving, and creative

thinking are essential elements of the work

in this class.

Environmental Science

Grades 11-12

Offered every other year

Prerequisite: Molecular or Ecological Biology

Students in this course look deeply into the

world around them, focusing on biodiversity,

extinction, climate change, urbanization,

desertification, energy, and the effect human

activity has on ecosystems.

Comparative Anatomy & Evolution

Grades 11-12

Offered every other year

Prerequisite: Molecular or Ecological


Through numerous dissections, students

study the microscopy of life, from

earthworms to sharks to fetal pigs. This

hands-on exploration allows students

to explore evolutionary relationship

and to compare systemic and cladistic

approaches to taxonomy.

Astrophysics & Cosmology

Grades 11-12

Fall semester

Prerequisite: Algebra 2

Recommendation: Concurrent enrollment

or completion of Trigonometry or Pre-


Using the fundamental laws of physics

and mathematical calculations, students

study the nature of the universe, its

formation and composition, including the

formation and evolution of stars, the sun,

galaxies, dark matter, and the methods

for gathering and calculating information

from space. Lab work, research projects,

group projects, and outside readings allow

students to broaden and deepen their

knowledge of chosen topics.

Solar System/Planetary Astronomy

Grades 11-12

Spring semester

Prerequisite: Geometry or Algebra 2

Recommendation: Completion of

Astrophysics & Cosmology

Beginning with the beliefs and practices

of ancient cultures and moving through

today’s space missions, students explore

the work of influential scientists and their

attempts to advance our understanding of

the solar system. Students will consider

various theories, including the search for

“exoplanets,” and investigate the sun,

planets, comets, asteroids, and which

planets are favored targets in the search for

extra-terrestrial life forms. Each year, the

class travels to Chaco Canyon, an ancient

site used for astronomy, to view the night

sky through telescopes, then to sleep under

the stars they study.

Anatomy & Physiology

Grades 11-12

May be taken as separate semester courses

or as a full-year course

Students study in detail the structure and

systems of the human body. The class

begins with a focus on body organization

- cellular anatomy, the skeletal, muscular,

and nervous systems. Second semester

focuses on cardiovascular, respiratory,

digestive, urinary, reproductive, and

endocrine systems.




To teach history is to inspire vision, a

worldwide, expansive understanding

of the complexities of human

interactions. We look behind us to

the past, to trace the threads of events

and decisions that brought us to our


From a specific sense of place in the

study of New Mexico, to the expansive

history of the United States, to the

global perspective of the Middle East

and Asia in World History, our students

actively engage in examining not only

the unfolding of a country’s specific

history, but also the ways nations have

affected each other.

We reach into our current world and

the issues affecting us now, fostering

lively debates and an appreciation for

diverse beliefs. Time spent learning

to research and forage deeply into

particular topics, then to translate that

new understanding into a written piece

or presentation, teaches the essential

skills of clear communication so

necessary for navigating our world.

World Cultures & Geography

Grade 6

Students in this course will develop a

geographic and cultural literacy as they

travel around the world learning about

and discussing local, national, and

international topics. Projects, research

opportunities, and discussion allow

students to collaborate and engage.

New Mexico History & the West

Grade 7

This course promotes a sense of

appreciation and understanding for what

makes us unique as New Mexicans.

Students examine the history, conquest,

and the merging of vastly different people

as they create a sense of place in New

Mexico. In addition to learning history,

students will also learn the skills of

research and discussion.

8th Grade History

Grade 8

This course traces the origins and

foundations of American constitutional

government from both philosophical and

historical perspectives. Students will look at

the Constitution and Amendments in detail

and examine their historical foundations,

as well as current applications. Special

attention is paid to the Bill of Rights as it

applies to current and historical issues,

cases, and controversies. Discussion,

writing, debate, presentation, and roleplaying

help us synthesize information

from primary and secondary sources to

prepare students for further historical and

social inquiry.

World History 1

Grade 9

This course traces human history from the

Neolithic revolution through the Middle

Ages to discover how early cultures shaped

our world. Students study the beginnings

and characteristics of civilizations in Africa,

Asia, and Europe including the Fertile

Crescent, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Each

student has the opportunity to wander

deeply into a topic of interest through a

semester-long research project.

World History 2

Grade 10

A continuation of World History 1, this

course examines civilization from the

Renaissance through the Enlightenment

and into the modern world across the

globe. Along with the rise of individualism,

the class will explore the complexities

of colonialism and the influence of

nationalism. Each student is able to explore

particular topics of interest through two

research projects.

American History

Grade 11

The course offers students a wide

historical sweep of American history from

the colonial period to the current day.

Students learn not only the major events

and decisions that formed American

culture, but also the complex context often

surrounding those events. Students are

encouraged to use the knowledge they gain

to form their own opinions and perspective

and to express those opinions in class

discussion. Literature, film, presentations,

and research projects are an essential part

of the class.

Contemporary American History

Through Film

Grade 12

This course provides a chronological

narrative history of the contemporary

American experience and its values, using

Hollywood films as a primary source.

Students learn how to “read” a film,

mastering techniques of visual literacy and

analysis. Major topics under discussion

are World War II, Cold War, Civil Rights

Movement, Vietnam War, and Watergate.

Analysis of primary documents, research,

and discussion are important elements of

learning, along with film screenings.

History & Intercultural


Grade 12

This course is designed to help students

acquire the skills necessary to understand

the underlying differences of cultures

while developing awareness of their own

culturally influenced characteristics.

The focus of this course is therefore

threefold: to have students develop a

deep comprehension of the elements

of cultures in general; to help students

develop an awareness of their own deep

seated cultural values, beliefs and mores;

and to help students acquire skills that will

allow them to be more successful studying,

living, or working in cultures different than

their own.




That our students learn a second

language well is evident all over

campus - middle schoolers jumping

from their cars at morning drop-off

to proclaim “Buenos dias” to their

Spanish teacher who happens to be

on duty; upper schoolers sitting on

the grass having lunch, practicing

the poetry recitation due in French.

Advanced students are comfortable

discussing novels and giving

presentations in their second language.

We want every one of our students to

go into life comfortable with the global

perspective speaking another language

offers. But this study is more than just

about the language. To truly become

global citizens, our students must also

be comfortable with other cultures, to

not only know, but also appreciate the

ways other cultures are different from

ours. In language classes, students

study that aspect of language just as

closely. Our language classes create a

new awareness, an expansive vision,

that includes not only what it means

to be different, but what it means to be

the same.



French 1-A

Spanish 1-A

Heritage Language Program

Grades 6-8

Advanced Spanish language instruction

for students with a strong proficiency in

Spanish. Students in this course typically

speak Spanish at home or come from dual

language programs.


French 1-5

Grades 9-12

From the beginning level of study, learning

basic vocabulary and verb conjugations,

to our advanced classes that include

the study of French literature, each level

of instruction offers a continued, everdeepening

study of the language and

culture of France. Students work together

to write dialogue and stories, build

fictional cities, and cook French meals.

Only French is spoken in class, even in the

beginning levels, so our students’ listening

proficiency is highly developed. In addition

to the language and culture, students

also examine important aspects of French

history, art, and music.

Spanish 1-3

Grades 9-12

Students learn Spanish through speaking;

through conversations about food, sports,

vacations, movies, and any other topics

students want to engage in. Each level of

Spanish instruction builds on the previous

year, both deepening and broadening

the students’ understanding of grammar,

vocabulary, and culture. Latin American

history, music, art, and food are everpresent

topics. Students develop the unique

skill of understanding spoken Spanish, and

they also become strong, fluent speakers

and capable writers.

Spanish 4A - Advanced Grammar &


Grade 11

Fall Semester

Students moving on to the advanced

Spanish classes must first take this

foundational class to strengthen and perfect

their understanding and use of Spanish

vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Lessons

are conducted entirely in Spanish, and

students practice their skills through essays,

debate, contests, videos, and presentations.

Spanish 4B - The New Golden


Grade 11

Spring Semester

Prerequisite: Spanish 4A

Students who choose to study Spanish film

will encounter the cinematic work of a

number of Latin American film artists from

the 1990s to today. The films themselves,

of course, give students practice in

developing their ear for Spanish, but

beyond that important skill, they also focus

on analyzing the politics, issues, and social

contexts of Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and



Spanish 5A - Border Studies: The

Neglect of Women Workers and

the New Era of Hope

Grade 12

Fall Semester

Prerequisite: Two Spanish 4 courses

Students in this class will examine, through

essays, movies, documentaries, creative

projects, and field study trips, the injustices

faced by women working in assembly

plants (maquiladoras) along the US/

Mexican border. A culminating trip takes

the class to the border, where students will

meet and talk with women on the other

side of the border fence.

Spanish 5C - Special Topics

Grade 12

Spring Semester

Prerequisite: Two Spanish 4 courses

Students in this advanced class will prepare

for participation in Modelo Naciones

Unidas Version en Español. They will learn

the proper procedures followed by the

United Nations, and research the global

issues that council will discuss. Class

discussions, selected texts, movies, and art

give students the past and present context

they need to achieve a solid understanding

of problems and concerns particular to

the Hispanic and Latino world. The class

participates in the Modelo Naciones

competition each year.

Spanish 5D - Contemporary Issues

Grade 12

Spring Semester

Prerequisite: Two Spanish 4 courses

It’s not so much a class as it is a “la

tertulia,” a gathering of literary and artistic

minds willing to share their work and

have discussions about any and all topics.

Students write original poetry and short

stories, create art and or music to share

with the group, as well as engage in lively

conversation and debate.



Walk into our Performing Arts

Center and you will hear a glorious

cacophony - saxophones rifting

Sammy Nestico; the chorus singing

an African folk song; actors learning

lines; the harmony of a cello and a

violin working out Pacobel’s Canon;

dancers calling out the 5-6-7 beat;

groups of guitarists concentrating on

complicated chord progressions; and

student directors giving orders to the

student tech crew.

Our Performing Arts students work

hard and put in long hours to reach

the high bar of excellence their

teachers set, but the final product

is always stunning. “Worth it,” the

students say. The audience, usually on

their feet applauding thunderously,

would certainly agree.

Whether it’s music in the Quad for

a Prep event or a full house in the

auditorium for the spring musical,

each Sandia Prep performance

resonates with energy, quality, and



Techniques of Dance 1-4

Grades 9-12

Students dance in a variety of styles,

from ballet to hip-hop, as they learn

proper technique and strength from Prep’s

experienced dance department staff.

They also participate with our awardwinning

dance team in national dance

competitions. Whether just beginning or

already accomplished, our students learn

to speak what Martha Graham called, “the

hidden language of the soul.”

Broadway Song & Dance

Grade 8

A one-quarter class

In this performance class, students present

a showcase including selections from the

greatest hits on Broadway. Students select

the theme and repertoire and develop

a storyline through script and character

development. Then, it’s show time!

Pop/Rock Song & Dance

Grade 8

A one-quarter class

Students create their own musical,

performing songs from the pop/rock

genre, tied together with a storyline they

have created using a script and character



The Treble Makers: Grades 6-7

The Sundevil Singers: Grades 8-12

A year-long class

Students in Choir learn to develop proper

vocal technique with posture, breath

management, diction, and expression,

as well as the skills of score study, sight

eading, and analysis of musical forms.

The repertoire of songs includes diverse

cultures and historical periods. Students

perform regularly and have the opportunity

to audition for the Solo and Ensemble

Festival and All-State.

Jazz Band

Beginning Jazz

Intermediate Jazz

Advanced Jazz

A year-long class

Our Jazz Bands embody a passion,

energy, and enthusiasm for music. Even

our beginning players stand up with

confidence to play an improvised solo

in true jazz tradition. Students learn to

interpret different styles and rhythms, to

perform as an ensemble, to develop the

skills of sight reading and improvisation,

and to make music come alive through the

subtleties of dynamics and phrasing.

Student must provide instrument.


Middle School Strings: Grades 6-8

Upper School Strings: Grades 9-12

A year-long class

Students who have a passion for playing

strings, whether cello, violin, viola, or

bass, come together in this orchestral

ensemble. The Strings group performs often

at school events, so preparation will focus

on blending of intonation, articulation,

dynamics, and expression. Some music

theory is covered, as is the context of the


Student must provide instrument.


Beginning Guitar

Intermediate Guitar

Advanced Guitar

A year-long class

The Prep guitar program is open to any

middle or upper school student who has

an interest in learning guitar. Both the

beginning and the advanced classes learn

and practice proper techniques of playing

and strumming, music reading, and music

theory. These classes perform often at

Sandia Prep events. Students must provide

their own acoustic, nylon string guitar. A

few are available for loan.

Curtains Up! Foundations of


Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

A foundation class, Curtains Up! teaches

all facets of live theatrical production:

acting (through improv, scene work,

monologues, and exercises) and

directing, as well as lighting, sound, set

construction, costumes, make-up design,

and props. Students may use their skills

to join the cast and crew of Prep’s theater

performances during the year.

Tech Theater 1-4

Grades 9-12

A year-long class

Prerequisites: Each level must be

successfully completed before moving on

to the next

Each level of Technical Theater teaches

through doing. Students study the many

facets of theater stagecraft as they design,

build, sew, and paint for Prep stage

productions, learning lighting, rigging,

props and sound, scenery construction,

and costume design. In level 4, Senior

students, proficient and able in the

technical aspects of theater, step into

leadership roles and manage one or more

departments for a main stage production.

Acting Intensive 1-2

Grades 10-12

A one-semester class

Prerequisite: 8th grade theater elective

and/or Tech Theater

These semester classes offer students an indepth

look at the art of acting that explores

both stage and film performance. Students

learn to discern a character’s objectives,

actions, and intentions, with an emphasis

on “physicalizing” the character. Specific

units include the art of makeup, musical

theater, techniques of auditioning, and

acting for comedy.

Foundations of Directing

Grades 10-12

A one-semester class; Spring semester

Prerequisite: 8th grade theater elective

and/or Tech Theater

This spring semester class focuses

exclusively on the art of directing. Students

engage all aspects of directing: selecting

a script, forming a concept and vision for

production, working with actors and tech

crews, and moving from rehearsals to final

performance. Students from this class may

be selected to direct Prep’s fall play.

Extreme Theater

Grades 11-12

A one-semester class

Prerequisite: Any of the following classes:

Curtains Up! Foundations of Theater,

Tech Theater 1-4, Acting Intensive 1-2, or

Foundations of Directing

Advanced Theater students bring their

training and skill to the stage in this fall

semester class. From choosing the play, to

holding auditions, managing rehearsals,

designing the set, and achieving the

final production, students run the show,

producing Prep’s fall play. Instead of

meeting during the day, class hours are

held after school from 3:45 p.m. - 5:45

p.m., as students do the actual work of





At Prep, art hangs from the trees in

the Quad and from the rafters in the

Concourse. Paintings bold with color

line the walls of our Student Center.

Sensitive and compelling self-portraits,

in black and white photography or

clay, fill the gallery. Ceramic totem

poles peep from the plants along the

walkways. It finds its way out of our

recycle bins to become plastic bottle

and tire sculptures.

The Prep art students ensure that art

surrounds the school, offering a little

spirit to carry with us through every

day. Our art classes encourage students

to nourish their creativity and to

believe in themselves as artists.

We encourage students to build strong

portfolios, and, through participation

in group critiques, develop a language

for speaking about art. Even as we

teach our students the fundamentals

of good design, we encourage them to

take artistic risks and to discover new

inspirations and aesthetic awareness.


Art Rotation Classes for Grades 6

and 7 on page 5


Grade 8

A one-quarter class

Students experiment with a range of

drawing materials, including pencil, pen

and ink, colored pencil, charcoal, and

pastel. Some assignments will be for small

art, some for large, some working with still

life set-ups, and some from the student’s



Grade 8

A one-quarter class

Using a variety of painting materials from

ink and watercolor to acrylic and batik,

students will work on traditional subjects

such as landscape, still life, and portrait,

as well as abstract work based on good

design principles. Color, composition, and

craftsmanship are the focus of the work.


Grade 8

A one-quarter class

Students learn several experimental

methods of printmaking, from stamping,

collographs, linoleum blocks, and rust

prints. This class is a great choice for

students who enjoy pattern, texture, and



Grade 8

A one-quarter class

Students go 3-D with a range of materials

from foam core, cardboard, wire, wood,

and stone. Some of the work will be large,

as is the giant insect project, while some is

smaller and involves using rasps to carve

New Mexican stone.

Art 1: Design & Composition

Grades 9-12

A year-long class

This foundational class allows students

to experience each facet of art: design

and composition, drawing, printmaking,

painting, and sculpture. We teach the

fundamentals of art, using a variety of

materials and techniques, even as we

encourage our students to follow their own

artistic path.

Clay & Sculpture 1-3

Grades 10-12

Year-long classes

Students learn to create with confidence

and imagination as they explore the threedimensional

world of sculpture using

clay, glass, cardboard, and mixed media.

The class functions as a collaborative

community, offering both critique and


Drawing & Painting 1-3

Grades 10-12

Year-long classes

As they explore the techniques and visual

skills of drawing and painting, students will

also engage in new processes of making

art, with a variety of techniques and

materials such as canvas, wood, silk, and

tarpaper. Students keep a sketchbook and

participate in-group critiques.


Photography 1-3

Grades 10-12

Year-long classes

Using a fully equipped traditional

darkroom, our Photography students

begin by learning the materials,

processes, concepts, and aesthetics of

black and white photography. Beginning

photography students focus on framing and

composition, point-of-view, shutter speed

and aperture, and print contrast, as well as

how to develop film and use the Sabatier

process. The advanced Photo classes lead

students into the more complex paths

of the traditional silver process, clichéverre,

cyanotype, and hand coloring.

Students working at the higher levels

are encouraged to explore deeply in the

processes that most interest them.

Required materials: manual 35mm camera.

Students provide their own film and photo




For today’s students, the world of

communications is one without

boundaries, frenetic, consistently

changing and expanding. Success,

not only in college, but for most

careers, requires communication skills,

knowledge, and the ability to adapt

to all emerging forms of media. To

write clearly for a specific audience, to

create effective visual presentations, to

manipulate and analyze digital images,

to speak the language of coding - each

of these aspects of communication is


The Sandia Prep Communications

Department offers students many

avenues for learning to become a

compelling communicator - tackling

tough issues and interviews for our

student newspaper, gathering in the

Mac lab for programming, working on

our yearbook, and diving into the art of

digital imagery with photography and

film. These classes allow students the

creative space and freedom to design,

to problem solve, and to confidently

maneuver the world of global



Digital Media & Communications

Rotation Classes for Grades 6 and

7 on page 5

Digital Journalism

Grades 8

A one-quarter elective

Students learn to capture a moment,

interview a subject, and create a newmedia

product. They design original

yearbook spreads and produce short digital

news segments. Adobe Creative Suite is

used in the class including Photoshop,

InDesign, and Premiere Pro.

Computer Graphics

Grade 8

A one-quarter elective

Using Photoshop, Illustrator, and Bryce

software, students learn how to use a

digital camera and scanner to produce

high resolution two and three dimensional

graphic images that create compelling

digital art.

Webpage Design

Grade 8

A one-quarter elective

Using Adobe Dreamweaver, students create

their own website, based on their interests.

They will explore web programming using

basic HTML, create code to add graphics,

links, and tables to their pages, and explore

CSS to format web pages consistently and



Grade 8

A one-quarter elective

Students collaborate to build robots, using

LEGO EV3 hardware and LEGO Mindstorm

software, that will have the ability to

perform certain tasks, such as dunk a

basketball through a hoop, pick up an

object, and pull a lever. The student team

will compete in the FIRST LEGO League

competition in December.

Computer Programming

Grade 8

A one-quarter elective

Students are introduced to a variety of

software applications, including Alice

Programming (developed at Carnegie

Mellon) and Scratch Programming

(developed at MIT), as they delve into

programming concepts to develop games,

digital stories, and other structures.


Grade 8

A one-quarter elective

Students will get an introduction to digital

filmmaking techniques and processes, from

scripting and storyboarding to shooting

and editing. All students who sign up for

this class will have to pass filmmaking

“boot camp” which includes a number

of practical tests covering equipment,

lighting, audio, camera shots, and editing.

Once students pass the practical tests,

they will begin creating many interesting

video projects, such as movie trailers,

commercials, PSA’s, music videos, and

short stories. Students will use state-ofthe-art

cameras and software in the Digital

Media lab.


Graphic Design

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

Students with an interest in Photoshop and

Illustrator will develop skills using Adobe’s

powerful applications in graphic design

projects including movie posters, magazine

covers, and photo colorization. Units will

include digital photography, scanning,

advanced layer applications and masking

techniques, as well as mastery of the pen

tool and the shape builder tool.

Computer Animation

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

This class introduces the basics of

computer animation, starting with simple

GIF animations in Adobe Photoshop and

progressing to Adobe Flash, where the

foundations of key frames, shape tweens,

motion-tweens, and the bone tool will be

presented. The class will culminate with

Toon Boom, a state-of-the-art animation

software suite. Students’ animation projects

will be uploaded onto personal websites.

Video Editing & Special Effects

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

Students will learn to edit video and do

post-production special effects work using

high-end software such as Adobe Premiere

Pro and After Effects. The main objective

will be trimming clips and constructing

well-paced and visually exciting video

sequences. The course will emphasize

the fine arts of color correction and

audio editing to give films a professional

appearance and balanced sound.

Additionally, students will learn basic

keyframing and color keying with a green


Webpage Design

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

Students combine creative vision

with technical knowledge to produce

informative, appealing and easy-to-use

websites. In this hands-on course, students

will explore strategies to effectively

communicate using the internet. Students

will learn about internet structure, site

layout, style and content, and use web

development tools and languages such as

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to achieve their

design objectives. Websites created will be

uploaded to a live web server.

Digital Journalism

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

Students learn to write and design for

21st Century publications. The class will

provide a solid foundation in programs

for producing modern media such as

Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator,

and Premiere. Students also will learn the

basics of journalistic ethics, story structure,

photography, page layout, and design. In

a culminating project, students will shoot

and edit video to produce stories in a

news-media format.

Applied Digital Design

Grades 10-12

A year-long class

Each student in this hands-on digital

marketing lab will work with designated


athletic teams, clubs, organizations, and

Prep’s Marketing and Communications

Department to create content for Sandia

Prep’s external website and other Prep

communications. Students will shoot video,

take photographs, and develop their skills

with the Adobe Creative Suite to produce

multimedia and desktop publishing projects.

Students will produce and manage the

multiple aspects of modern marketing while

incorporating digital design.

Advanced Applied Digital Design

Grades 11-12

A year-long class

Advanced Applied Digital Design builds on

the various techniques and programs that

are introduced in the Applied Digital Design


Filmmaking 1-4

Grades 9-12

A year-long class

Those students who love film will explore

all the elements of writing, directing, and

producing a film of their own. Students create

five-minute movies, work in collaborative

groups to brainstorm, write, shoot, plan

camera techniques, and edit. The class also

participates in the annual Prep film festival,

Captured Sparks.


The Physical Education program

strives to educate students about

their bodies, to teach them lifelong

habits of fitness, and to create

enthusiasm for physical activities.

By emphasizing the development

and maintenance of an active and

physically fit body, we encourage

students to build good health habits

that carry over into adulthood.


6th Grade Physical Education

In 6th grade Physical Education,

students learn basic movement

and sports-related skills, such as

ball handling, agility, balance, and

hand-eye coordination so they may

compete in, understand, and enjoy as

many activities as possible. The class

also focuses on lifelong fitness and

wellness, and assesses physical fitness

throughout the course of the student’s

physical education. Among the

activities are basketball, field hockey,

soccer, volleyball, and track and field


7th Grade Physical Education

This course stresses improving and

refining individual skills and game

strategies. Students are also introduced

to new and more complex skills, thus

enabling them to develop confidence

and a sense of mastery in the activities


8th Grade Physical Education

In this course, students continue

to focus on improving and refining

individual skills and game strategies,

while participating in nontraditional

team sports, such as team handball,

korfball, and Ultimate Frisbee.

High School Physical Education

Grades 9-12

This advanced physical education

course is based on a health-related

approach that stresses the importance

of lifetime physical fitness and

wellness. In this course students focus on

lifetime activities such as tennis, pickle

ball, golf, archery, and fitness training.

Classes meet four of the six days in the

cycle, with the fifth day encompassing

health topics taught in a classroom setting.

Outside speakers are brought in to provide

information to students on topics such as

Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Sexuality

via this health addition.

Fitness for Life

Grades 9-12

Fitness for Life is an Upper School Physical

Education elective course designed to

introduce the student to different aspects

of physical fitness that will be applicable

to daily life, for the rest of their lives.

Through a variety of activities, the student

is exposed to the main components of

physical fitness, including agility, muscular

strength, muscular endurance, flexibility,

and cardiovascular endurance. Activities

include but are not limited to weight

training, yoga, pilates, speed training,

plyometrics, and aerobics, which will

occur in specific time frames. Students

will demonstrate capabilities of analyzing

fitness components, goal-setting, and

applying classroom activities to their

general well-being. Classes meet four of

the six days in the cycle, with the fifth

day encompassing health topics taught

in a classroom setting. Outside speakers

are brought in to provide information

to students on topics such as Drug and

Alcohol Awareness and Sexuality via this

health addition.


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