Sandia Prep Curriculum Guide 2017-2018


Detailed middle school and upper school 2017-2018 curriculum guide

Curriculum Guide

Middle School & Upper School

2017 - 2018

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 Scholar ............................................................................ 3

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

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

Heritage Language Program ................................................................... 4

Engineering & Coding ............................................................................ 4

Middle School Course Requirements .................................................................. 5

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

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

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

Mathematics ....................................................................................................... 15

Science ................................................................................................................21

History .............................................................................................................. 26

Modern Language ............................................................................................... 29

Performing Arts .................................................................................................. 32

Visual Arts .......................................................................................................... 35

Digital Media & Communications ...................................................................... 37

Physical Fitness ................................................................................................... 40


A Curriculum Guide Written by Teachers with Students in Mind

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 3D printers or dismantling machines

in the SPACE, 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 are also 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 The Solar System. In Math,

Calculus 2 might be paired with Data Analysis, and in History, Critical Issues with Global


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 or university.

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


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.



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

Among this group are accomplished individuals who have worked for the Associated Press,

Reuters, United Press International, engineering firms, and museums. Some have owned their

own business, practiced law, served in the military and as police officers and firefighters.

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.

The Prep faculty knows that the respect, trust, and rapport they develop with their students

encourage advanced learning. Students reach higher than they ever believed they could

because they know they have support and help from their teachers. The Prep faculty is not

only talented, it is caring; not only connected to their passions, but also to the needs of their




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

will challenge themselves academically, intellectually, and creatively by designing a two-year

course of study that will culminate 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.

Distinguished Scholar (Certificate of Distinction)

The Distinguished Scholar Certificate is centered around classes offered at Sandia Prep. Students

choose to take additional classes in a specific area of study. Students must maintain a 3.5 grade

point average throughout his or her time in upper school. With these additional classes students

will graduate with a 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


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 Head of Upper School.)

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

Past topics have included:

• Advanced Computer Programming

• History Through Film

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

Heritage Language Program

Heritage Spanish is offered to 6th and 7th grade students with a strong proficiency in Spanish.

This advanced language instruction is typically for students who speak Spanish at home or come

from dual language programs. Students explore themes such as Latina women in history and the

idea of the hero in reading, conversation, essays, and multimedia presentations. While this is a

course based in conversation, students also receive supplemental lessons in grammar. The focus

is to produce articulate and well-rounded speakers and writers in Spanish.

Engineering & Coding

Sandia Prep’s Engineering & Coding classes begin in the 8th grade and continue through senior

year. Students build on a foundation of engineering concepts and basic coding taught in 8th

grade and progress to Mechatronics and longer, more complex strings of code. Courses begin

with a focus on the engineering process and allow students to get an introduction to engineering,

programming, and robotics. Students receive an introduction to the design, fabrication, and

testing process followed by all engineers. Students gain these engineering skills by completing

a variety of projects like building bridges, remote-controlled cars, and other projects. The

upper levels of engineering and coding provide an integration of computer programming and

engineering with a focus on the use of engineering principles as a guide.



We believe it is important for middle

school students to learn skills in context.

In particular, we teach critical 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

English 7 English 8


Foundation of


7th Grade Mathematics

or Pre-Algebra

Algebra 1A or

Algebra 1


General Science

Life Science

Physical Science


World Cultures &


New Mexico History

and the West

U.S. History

Art & Media

Rotation: Art, Music,


and Theater & Dance

Rotation: Art, Drama,

and Photography

Music, Journalism, Art, or


Modern Language

French or Spanish

French 1A or

Spanish 1A

French 1B or

Spanish 1B

Physical Education/


6th Grade PE

7th Grade PE

8th Grade PE


Chorus, Guitar,

Strings, Jazz Band,

or Study Hall

Chorus, Guitar,

Strings, Jazz Band,

or Study Hall

Chorus, Guitar, Strings,

Jazz Band, Study Hall,

Digital Filmmaking,

or Musical Theater



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

a pinch pot creature, creating an African

mask, throwing a bowl on the pottery wheel,

painting a self-portrait, and using charcoal

and chalk pastels to create an abstract


Digital Media - After familiarizing the class

with the technology available at Sandia

Prep, students learn typing, word processing,

multimedia presentations, and internet


Theater and Dance - Improvisations, theater

games, creative dramatic presentations,

videos, and the basics of ballet and jazz give

students the chance to acquire confidence as

speakers and performers.

Music - The music rotation includes the

fundamentals of voice and instruments, music

literacy, and reading a score.

Art – Seventh Grade Art includes drawing a

still life, creating a landscape collage, using

a microscope to create an abstract painting,

and designing an animal-inspired flower

pot in clay.

Photography - Introduction to black

and white photography, use of a 35 mm

camera, working in a darkroom, pinhole

cameras, and enlargements give seventh

grade students a hands-on experience.

Drama – In seventh grade, drama students

choose the play and make it happen, from

costumes and lighting, to rehearsals and

final performances.

Digital Media - A variety of computer skills

are introduced including spreadsheets,

databases, graphics, animation, and

computer programming. Additionally,

students will spend time leaning the inner

workings of the computer and how data

gets processed and stored.



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,

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, in an

independent study program, or in special academic programs.

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

(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


Graduation Requirements

Students Entering Grade 9 & 10 in 2017-18 School Year

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

graduate. Of the 23.5 credits, 18½ are to be distributed as described on the following page

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

Students Entering Grades 11 & 12 in 2017-18 School Year

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

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.

Please see charts on following pages for specific requirements.


Students Entering Grade 9 & 10 in 2017-18 School Year



Number of Credits

Required Courses


4 credits

English 9 (1 credit)

English 10 (1 credit)

English 11 (1 credit)

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

Math 210 (Algebra 2) or Math 220 (Algebra 2)

(1 credit)


3 credits

Math 310 (Geometry) or Math 320 (Geometry)

(1 credit)

1 year-long math course (1 credit)


3 credits

Geology (1 credit)

Biology (1 credit)

A third year of laboratory science (1 credit)


3 credits

World History 1 (1 credit)

World History 2 (1 credit)

American History (1 credit)

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

Digital Media &


Additional Arts/


1 credit

1/2 credit

1 credit

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

1 semester of Communication (1/2 credit)

1 additional year of Visual, Performing OR

Communications (1 credit)



5 credits

From any department

Successful Completion of Senior Experience


Students Entering Grades 11 & 12 in 2017-18 School Year



Number of Credits

Required Courses


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.)

Math 210 (Algebra 2) or Math 220 (Algebra 2)

(1 credit)


3 credits

Math 310 (Geometry) or Math 320 (Geometry)

(1 credit)

1 year-long math course (1 credit)


3 credits

Geology (1 credit)

Biology (1 credit)

A third year of laboratory science (1 credit)


3 credits

World History 1 (1 credit)

World History 2 (1 credit)

American History (1 credit)

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






Critical reading, logical thinking, and

dynamic writing compose the heart

of the English Department’s mission.

We are dedicated to instilling in our

students an appreciation for great

literature and to sharpening their

written expression across genres.

Employing a wide selection of literary

works, we teach our learners to

discover the depth and influence

inherent in language that is elegant and

precise, enterprising and expressive.

With writing an essential component of

our curriculum, we expect, teach, and

encourage our students to gain skill and

power in their own written expression

through exploring both creative and

analytical forms.

Drop into our classrooms and you

might witness students engaged

in dissecting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s

symbolism in “The Great Gatsby” or

reciting Shel Silverstein’s “Forgotten

Language” while participating in a

poetry cafe; gathering evidence for a

literary analysis on Hamlet’s anguish

or revising a personal narrative culled

from a childhood memory; applying

Latin roots to study vocabulary or

practicing comma placement using

lively, original sentences.

English 6

From S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” to

Shakespeare’s “The Fairies’ Lullaby,”

sixth-graders read extensively and deeply

as they’re introduced to literary genres

through a wide selection of current and

classic readings. Writing is an ever-present

instruction in the sixth-grade classroom,

with students beginning the process of

literary analysis and practicing formal

essays, journals, narratives, and creative

writing. Students’ written expression takes

imaginative forms; they might, for example,

analyze the mystery story and write their

own mystery/detective tales using devices

they discovered in the genre. In sixth-grade

English, students develop their ideas and

individual voice while cultivating clear

expression through syntax, vocabulary, and


English 7

Seventh-grade English deepens the study

of reading and writing begun the previous

year. Students dive into a mix of novels,

short stories, plays, and poetry--all chosen

to encourage some independence in

discovering meaning. Through class

discussion, students discern literary threads

and connections, which they further

explore in their writing. English 7 requires

both creative and analytical writing, with

an emphasis on clear, concise expression.

English 8

With student discovery the focus of eighthgrade

English, students explore texts

that are varied both in genre and period.

Writing of all forms is extensive. Students


learn to think through a text independently,

forming ideas about meaning, sharing them

in class discussions, and further developing

them in their written expression. In their

analysis papers, students become adept at

proposing a thesis and supporting it with

textual evidence.

English 9

Through rich and vigorous classroom

discussions, students engage with

literature—both classical and

contemporary—and expository essay

writing to enhance analytical thinking.

Freshmen learn how to strengthen their

skills as writers of formal literary criticism.

Informal in-class writing and regular

vocabulary study are also included in the


English 10

Sophomore English looks at works chosen

from many cultures, studied with an eye

to their points of view and to the narrators’

cultural contexts. Furthermore, students

are encouraged to find connections to

their own lives through these disparate

characters. English 10 emphasizes the

student’s growth and development in

writing and interpretive skills, as well as in

the greater craft of structuring an argument

and using precise language in presenting

that argument.

English 10 - Writing Workshop


It is a globally connected world, and

effective writing plays a valuable role in a


student’s success, yet not every student’s

strength lies in his or her writing skills.

To that end, Sandia Prep offers a full-year

writing workshop to sophomores. Every

Prep graduate learns to be a confident

writer. In this workshop, students develop

skills from grammar and punctuation to

style and clarity. Taught by members of the

English Department, the Writing Workshop

includes lessons on written expression

across disciplines, supplementing the

instruction students receive in other classes

and focusing on how to write effectively

in science, history, and literature, among

other fields. 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,

the American Literature survey course then

traces the evolution of 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.


During each semester, seniors choose

an English course that most appeals to

them. Literary writing and discussion are

hallmarks of each semester-long elective.

Students work on writing sophisticated

analyses that offer a clear, in-depth

discussion of a focused thesis. Seniors are

required to take an English elective both

semesters of the year.

Fall Semester Options:

Global Literature

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 gain an

understanding of the enduring themes that

unite traditions in literature.

subgenres, they 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

Some of the finest writing of the 20th

and 21st centuries can be found in short

stories. This course studies the genre with

an eye toward what exactly constitutes a

short story and to the variety that exists in

the form. In both writing and discourse,

students analyze several stories for style,

structure, and voice, and they have the

opportunity to write their own short stories.

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 lives

and cultures, but each offers a timeless,

universal vision of what it means to be

human and the truths still relevant.

Nonfiction Literature

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

Great Books

The Great Books class offers a chance

to experience some of the most highly

respected texts ever written. Some of the

texts walk students through the Middle

Ages; some, through the twentieth

century. Whatever the historical context,

these books expose students to the great

thoughts of great thinkers, men and

women, who confront the impossible,

meaningful questions of life. With

O’Connor, Dante, Faulkner, Oates,

Dostoevsky, Sophocles, Orwell, Elliot,

and others, the class examines, debates,

discusses, and wrestles with questions that

all human beings should.

Urban Literature

Since people began living in bustling

urban areas, the city has become a symbol

of wealth and opportunity. Nowhere has


that been truer than in America, where

the city has been perceived as the place

where free men and women can start over,

can make their fortunes, can earn fame,

and can do better than just survive. In the

Urban Literature course, students examine

the ways in which American writers have

directly influenced our perceptions of

the city, envisioning it as a stronghold

of artistic expression, tolerance, and

sophistication, or as a sinkhole of poverty,

anonymity, and despair.



Math is about more than simple

manipulation of numbers, formulas, and

theorems. It is, instead, about imagining,

predicting, verifying, analyzing, solving,

and discovering. We encourage an

appreciation for the beauty of the

mathematical process as well as an

understanding of the need for these

skills and the proficiency necessary

for success in academic and real-life


At each grade, whether Algebra 1 or

Calculus 2, students apply skills through

projects such as building bridges,

predicting distance and speed of windup

cars, and creating fractals. Our

classes are energetic, busy spaces where

you will find students:

• Developing an appreciation of the

breadth and depth of mathematics

• Integrating different methods of

problem-solving with confidence

and tenacity

• Investigating effective applications

of technology

• Developing a desire to discover

• Communicating using the language

of mathematics, informally and


• Collaborating about projects

• Questioning, more than finding

answers - exactly what we hope for

Foundations of Mathematics

Grade 6

Prerequisite: 5th Grade Math

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 and projects

incorporating engineering, science,

and art. Whenever possible, students

apply the mathematical concepts they

have studied, to real-life situations and

examples. Students investigate additional

topics, including ratios and percents,

measurement, number theory, and

statistics and probability.

Sequential course: Pre-Algebra


Grade 7

Prerequisite: Foundations of Mathematics

with teacher recommendation

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 studied and developed through

defining and solving problems, critical

thinking and 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

Math 120 - Algebra 1

Grade 8 and 9

Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra

(An 8th grade class and also for new 9th

graders who have not taken Algebra 1)

This course develops facility in the use

of mathematical concepts and provides

a thorough foundation in basic Algebra

essential to the study of advanced

mathematics. Topics covered include (but

are not limited to): 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. Projects

include Wind-up Cars (applying linear

equations to predict distance and speed)

and the Figurate Number Project where

students build a display using square

numbers, triangular numbers, pentagonal

numbers, and the sequence patterns that

are associated with them.

Sequential course: Math 220 - Algebra 2

Math 220 - Algebra 2

Prerequisite: Math 120 - Algebra 1

We apply and extend the concepts

studied in Algebra 120. We study the

concepts of real and complex number

systems, factoring, function notation,

exponents, radicals, quadratic equations,

radical equations, conics, and matrices.

Graphing and conic sections are explored

using Desmos.

Sequential course: Math 320 - Geometry

Math 320 - Geometry

Prerequisite: Math 220 - Algebra 2

This course investigates Euclidean (plane)

geometry with the emphasis on intuitive

approaches and problem-solving. With the

increasing demand on how we as people

interact in face to face situations the class

is taught with the emphasis that everyone

tackles 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 Geometer’s

Sketchpad, Desmos, Symbolab, and Khan

Academy are weaved into the exploration

of the following topics: formal proofs along

with considerable work with constructions,

logical reasoning, and right-angle

trigonometry. Computer generated and

handmade 3D fractals and tessellations are

used to investigate transformations. The

final challenge of the year is to create a

solid vehicle that moves along a specified

path, using the Euclidean (plane) geometry

as the underlying connecting tool.

Sequential course: Math 420 - Pre-Calculus


Math 420 - Pre-Calculus

Prerequisite: Math 320 - Geometry or

Math 310 - Geometry (with departmental


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

functions and their applications, vectors,

graphing techniques, and various

functional equations and inequalities

(i.e., polynomial, rational, exponential,

inverse, and logarithmic functions).

Students investigate how to create a

function cat, analyze how composite

trigonometric functions work, and explore

the manipulation of vectors. The use

of computer-based graphing programs,

primarily Desmos, is used to explore

the relationship between computational

mathematics and the graphs that functions

create. This course provides the basic

mathematical building blocks, conceptual

as well as computational, to further

mathematical studies in the following

areas: calculus, physics, and other

sciences, and/or engineering in college.

Sequential course: Math 525 - Calculus

or Math 520 - Math Modeling and Data


Math 410 - Trigonometry

Prerequisite: Math 320 - Geometry

This year-long course investigates the

fundamental concepts of trigonometry.

Topics include functions, identities,

equations, graphs, and vectors. The

course emphasizes real-life applications.

Students utilize technology to manipulate

graphs of trigonometric functions to gain a

deeper understanding of how the functions

behave. Students plot real-world data

and create functions to model it and use

a trigonometric approach to solving realworld,

physics problems.

Sequential course: Math 415 - Statistics or

Math 420 - Pre-Calculus or Math 520 - Math

Modeling and Data Analysis (departmental

approval is necessary for this course)

Math 415 - Statistics

Prerequisite: Math 310 - Geometry or

Math 410 - Trigonometry or departmental


In this year-long course, students acquire

the skills and tools needed to collect,

analyze and draw reasoned conclusions

from data. By the end of the course,

students are well-prepared for collegelevel

statistics, which is currently a

requisite for most college majors. More

importantly, perhaps, students are able

to critically analyze and understand the

myriad numbers that bombard them on

a daily basis. Students enjoy the handson

exploration of the laws of probability

through simulation exercises and games of

chance. Projects on random sampling and

experimentation help make the sometimes

elusive background theory of statistics come

to life.

Math 520 - Math Modeling & Data

Analysis: Star Statistics

Prerequisite: Math 420 - Pre-Calculus or


Computer Programing 1 with the course

instructor’s permission or departmental


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, agent-based

modeling, and simulation. Class time

switches between the presentation of new

material and student-led research and

decisions that 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

travels far and wide, but it needs a crew of

creative mathematicians to guide it.

Math 525 - Calculus

Prerequisite: Math 420 - Pre-Calculus

Students study and develop facility

in applying fundamental concepts of

calculus including 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. Students demonstrate

the application of calculus concepts

to real-world applications including

optimization, artificial intelligence, and

Netflix and Amazons’ recommendations

systems; emphasize the power of

calculus to connect position, speed, and

acceleration to answer questions about

rockets and other moving bodies; and use

word problems so that students apply the

knowledge they have gained.

Sequential course: Math 530 - Calculus 2

Math 530 - Calculus 2

Prerequisite: Math 525 - Calculus

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 with an

intentionally small class size and the use of

technology is encouraged on the multiple

collaborative projects.

Computer Science 1

Grades 9-12

This year-long course introduces students

to the basic components of programming

in Java and gives students the tools

to write computer programs of their

own. Computer Science 1 begins with

instruction in logical reasoning, clarity,

and organization of thought. The computer

programming assignments emphasize

mastery of variables, types, conditionals,

loops, functions, arrays, and more.


Readability, debugging, formatting, and

organization are emphasized throughout

the course. Students write a program to

generate MadLib-style stories; create textbased

games such as Hangman, Choose

Your Own Adventure, and Tic-tac-toe;

learn to break down complex problems

into simple pieces, write a typing-tutor that

calculates words per minute and accuracy;

and learn to manage more complex projects

such as a graphical computer game.

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. There

are frequent homework assignments and

regular quizzes in this course.

Computer Science 2

Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Computer Science 1

In this year-long class, Computer Science

2 students immerse themselves in more

challenging problems and learn more

complex programming constructs in the

Java Programming Language. CS 2 begins

with a study of control flow, followed by

principles of Object Oriented Programming.

Students design larger programs than they

have before. This necessitates organization,

clarity of thought, and a renewed emphasis

on clear commenting. CS 2 students are

also introduced to more advanced data

structures and a small amount of theory of


Intro to Engineering

Grades 8-12

This class provides an introduction to the

design, fabrication, and testing process

followed by all engineers. Students gain

these engineering skills by completing a

variety of projects like building bridges,

remote controlled cars, a trebuchet, and

other projects. These projects introduce

basic mechanical construction techniques

necessary to be a successful engineer.

Students use computer-aided design

programs (AutoCAD) to design each piece

needed for their designs. Students then

fabricate prototypes and final designs using

AutoCAM, 3D printers, CNC routers, and

printed circuit board makers. The final step

is to assemble and test their designs. The

course is meant to instill the engineering

design process and the need for iterative

design. Students are expected to create

prototypes, then make and document

design decisions based on testing of those


Sequential course: Mechatronics or

Computer Science 1


Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: Computer Science 1

Mechatronics provides an integration of

computer programming and engineering

with a focus on the use of engineering

principles as a guide. Projects such as

building a maze running robot and making

a Heads-Up Display, allow students to

learn how to create mechanical electrical

systems that use computer programming to

adapt and react to surroundings. Students


further develop concepts of 3D Modeling

and Printing to create more substantial

models and to better understand the

application of the engineering process.

Students improve upon manufacturing

techniques and use more sophisticated

tools to create more complicated

and intricate systems that intertwine

mechanical and electrical systems to

solve real-world engineering problems.

Completion of projects should reinforce

and develop students abilities to make

informed design decisions. This course

reinforces ideas behind documentation of

work using an engineering notebook and

other report writing.

Sequential course: Collaborative Capstone



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 Science 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 Lab Science

In this lab-based foundation class,

beginning scientists study an array of topics

spanning various disciplines of science.

Students develop questions, models, and

interpret/analyze data from experiments

performed by local and global real-world

scientists. Practicing proper lab technique

and scientific methods, students gain the

ability and confidence both in laboratory

skills and their understanding of scientific

concepts through projects such as LEAP

(Learning the Ecosystems of Albuquerque

Project), which requires students to

research a specific species, its ecosystem,

and how environmental factors can affect

things such as behavior and migration, and

involvement in national and international

oceanic research project, which allows

students to work on current research being

conducted by international research teams.

At the end of the 6th-grade year, students

have developed a strong foundation of

laboratory skills and content knowledge

necessary for advancement through Sandia

Prep’s middle and upper school science


Science 7 - Life Science

The primary objective of the 7th grade

science program is for students to explore

what it means to be alive and part of a

biological community. The class begins in

the school garden, with inquiry-driven field

ecology experiments on plants, pollinators,

ants, and soil. Students delve into the

science of botany, germinating seeds and

studying plant growth and anatomy and

transition to ecosystem studies of diverse

microscopic pond life and the intricate

structures inside cells. The class expands

to explore biomes and their respective

climates and biota. In the spring, the focus

shifts to reproduction, genetics, and the

human body, and the factors that keep it

healthy. Seventh grade students organize a

community-wide blood drive as part of this


Science 8 - Physical Science

Physical science focuses on the

fundamentals of both chemistry and

physics. In the chemistry section, students

examine the properties of matter, atomic

structure, the periodic table, chemical

bonding, and chemical reactions. These

concepts are then applied during numerous

labs, including but not limited to,

observing periodic trends within elements

and how new chemicals are formed during

chemical reactions. In the physics section,

students examine forces, motion, energy,

simple machines, and waves, including

sound and light. Students perform a variety

of labs utilizing speed as a predictive tool,

observing how work and force change

through various simple machines, and

studying pressure through the creation of

“shoes” to walk on eggs. At the end of the

year, students are prepared to move into

high school science classes.

Geology 1

Grade 9

It would be unforgivable to not teach

geology in New Mexico. This is a year-long

lab science class focusing on the study of

the Earth’s dynamic processes and systems

through topics including plate tectonics,

the rock cycle, minerals, volcanology,


seismology, geologic time, paleontology,

and mapping. Students are immersed in both

global and New Mexico geology, including

fieldwork at the Albuquerque volcanoes

(Rio Grande Rift – the third largest rift in the

world) and the Ojito Wilderness. Students

are actively involved understanding the

application scientific methods, through

lab work, activities, research, notes, and

group projects. Students focus on detailed

observations, accuracy, analyzing, and


Molecular Biology

Grade 10

Molecular Biology introduces students to

the fundamental processes that apply to all

living organisms. Hands-on laboratory work

is the focus of this class, examining enzyme

reactions, cell structure, cell mitosis and

meiosis, cell respiration and fermentation,

genetics, and heredity, along with an

introduction to organic and biochemistry.

Extensive use of technology includes

microscopy, data-collection technology

with Vernier LabPro, and TI-83 graphing

calculators. Students learn the basics of

biology while concentrating on the scientific

method, proper lab technique, data analysis,

and critical thinking skills.

Ecological Biology

Grade 10

Ecological Biology introduces students to the

broad spectrum of macrobiology topics as

they seek to answer the question of “What is

life?”, through the study of the fundamental

concepts of life and life processes, including

fundamentals of ecology (energy flow

and natural cycles, levels of organization,

environmental succession, ecosystems,

the ecology of early Earth and New

Mexico, biodiversity, climate and climate

change); biochemistry (photosynthesis,

cellular respiration, enzyme catalysis); and

genetics and evolution (cell reproduction,

DNA-RNA-protein synthesis, Mendelian

and population genetics, classification/

taxonomy). Using scientific methods of

data gathering and interpretation, students

not only consider current systems of

diverse life forms, but also look ahead

to anticipate the consequences of

environmental changes and decisions.

Biology 2

Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Biology with a grade of “B“

overall and/or permission of the instructor

This highly challenging class provides

students with an opportunity for in-depth

study of microbiology, genetics, and

biotechnology. During the first semester,

students focus on genetics as it relates

to heredity, health, and social issues.

Students conduct experiments breeding

fruit flies and growing genetic corn, which

incorporates not only scientific principles,

but mathematical analysis as well. The

second semester focuses on microbiology

and biotechnology. Students learn to

culture and identify bacteria. The semester

culminates with students working on a

four-week “bacterial unknown” project.

Along with the bacteria studies, students

learn to develop an understanding of

biotechnology, including the use of gel

electrophoresis for DNA analysis. Upon

completion of this course, students have a

solid foundation that serves them in college

science classes.

Chemistry 1

Grade 11

In this foundational chemistry class,

students study a broad spectrum of related

topics, including modern atomic theory,

chemical bonding, chemical reactions,

phase changes, nuclear chemistry, organic

chemistry, and stoichiometry. Students

perform labs to illustrate a variety of

chemical interactions and principles

with the emphasis on learning proper

lab techniques with more advanced

equipment. Experiments include:

separating and identifying the dyes in

candy coatings, synthesizing esters,

determining the empirical formula of a

compound, and finding the concentration

of an acid through titration. Students also

perform their own experiment on a science

topic of their choice during the year.

Chemistry 2

Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Chemistry 1 with a grade of

“B-“ overall and a grade of “C-“ on the

mid-term exam, or better, Algebra 2, and/

or permission of the instructor

Chemistry 2 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 polymer chemistry,

chemistry in art, forensics, Redox reactions,

thermochemistry, chemical equilibrium

and kinetics, and environmental

chemistry. In the lab, emphasis is placed


on experimental design, keeping a lab

notebook, identifying unknowns, and

chemical engineering. Experiments

include: building and using a hydrometer,

creating and modifying a bioplastic,

making a plant dye, and isolating and

identifying the compounds in polluted

water. The course also includes field trips

and/or guest speakers to help students

understand the careers that extensively use


Physics 1

Grades 11-12

In physics, students are introduced

to the essential principles of physics

such as dynamics, energy, waves, and

electromagnetism that describe the

interaction of matter and energy. Students

develop both a mathematical and

conceptual understanding of the subject

through experimental design in order to

illustrate and predict outcomes. Physics is

a hands-on course where students use their

existing knowledge of the world to deepen

and solidify their understanding of the

principles of physics. Lab work includes

activities such as hitting a moving target

with one try using only the equations of


Physics 2

Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Physics 1 with a grade of

“B-“ overall and a grade of “C-“, or better,

on the mid-term exam, Algebra 2, and/or

permission of the instructor

This challenging class builds upon several

of the topics from Physics 1 by advancing


students’ understanding of fundamental

concepts. These concepts include;

mechanics as it pertains to rotating objects

along with electricity and magnetism by

introducing capacitors and capacitance.

Advanced physics students also study

select modern physics subjects such as

relativity and quantum mechanics. Inquirybased

laboratory work, student-directed

collaborative projects, problem-solving,

and critical thinking are essential elements

of the work in this class.

Environmental Science 1:

Ecosystems and Climate

Grades 11-12

Offered every other year

Prerequisite: Molecular or Ecological


Ecosystems and Climate focuses on the

interactions between living organisms and

their environments, including biotic factors

such as population growth, biodiversity,

competition, predator-prey interactions,

epidemiology, and the abiotic factors that

control Earth’s climatic systems and the

ecosystem patterns that result. This course

involves independent research, field trips,

and inquiry-based experiences in the lab

and in the field.

Environmental Science 1: Resource

Consumption, Pollution, Water,

and Energy

Grades 11-12

Offered every other year

Prerequisite: Molecular or Ecological


This course emphasizes the influence of

humans on Earth’s natural resources and

the sustainable use of ecological services

on which our civilization depends. The

class begins studying human population

patterns and fundamental principles

of resource economics. Students map

their own ecological footprints and

ways to mitigate individual impacts on

the environment. The focus of the class

then turns from the causes, effects, and

solutions, to challenges of pollution,

water resource scarcity, and sustainable

energy generation. The course involves

independent research, simulations in the

lab, and several field trips.

Comparative Anatomy & Evolution

Grades 11-12

Offered every other year

Prerequisite: Molecular or Ecological


In Comparative Anatomy and Evolution

students study the origins of life and

the evolution and diversity of animal

phyla. The course emphasizes laboratory

dissection and live observations of

representative species. Students examine

the taxonomic methods biologists use to

determine how organisms are related,

investigate the genetic basis of evolution,

and study the principles and statistical

methods of population genetics and

cladistics (quantifying genetic similarity

between different species). Independent

research focuses on major evolutionary

milestones and characteristics of the

different animal phyla. The course explores

the fundamental principles and drivers of

evolution, such as environmental change,

predator/prey interactions, disease, and


Anatomy & Physiology

Grades 11-12

May be taken as separate semester courses

or as a full-year course

Human anatomy and physiology provides

students with the opportunity to study the

structure, chemical processes, injuries,

and illnesses within each organ system.

The class begins with an introduction to

common terms, basic biochemistry, and

the general organization of the body. Next,

all 12 body systems are examined and

students gain a basic understanding. In

addition to learning the content, students

apply their knowledge during various

labs, including comparing and analyzing

distribution and concentration of sweat

glands throughout the body during the

section focused on the skin. This course

includes field trips and/or guest speakers

to introduce students to various medical

careers and procedures they might

encounter in their life.



To teach History is to inspire vision –

a global, expansive understanding of

the complexities of human interaction

from the distant past to the present.

In our classrooms, we trace threads

of experience and knowledge across

time and help students understand the

decisions that brought us to where we

are at this moment.

Our curriculum brings together global

and regional studies, as our students

actively and consistently engage

in conversation over why and how

events unfolded the way they did.

Further, we offer opportunities for

deep study, engaging in research and

writing in such a way that students

come away with knowledge and

insights unique to their particular area

of study.

Through a variety of classroom

modalities, we offer students the

chance to grow into both active

learners and budding scholars. These

approaches give our students the

chance to translate new ideas and

insights into a powerful language

of learning that leads to a complex

understanding of the people, places,

and events in our world.

World Cultures & Geography

Grade 6

Students in this course develop a

geographic and cultural literacy as they

explore their world. They acquire the

concepts and vocabulary necessary to

analyze the elements of any culture and to

understand the inter-relationship of cultures

and the physical spaces they occupy. A

variety of projects, research opportunities,

and discussions provide the framework for

student engagement and collaboration.

New Mexico History

Grade 7

This course promotes appreciation for, and

understanding of the factors that led to

New Mexico being such a culturally and

environmentally diverse area. Beginning

with the prehistory of the region and its

original inhabitants, students examine

the history of conquest and adaptation

by multiple groups as they acquired a

common identity as New Mexicans. In

addition, students are introduced to New

Mexico’s role in contemporary issues

beginning with events at Los Alamos and

White Sands. From the outset, the course

supports students developing research,

writing and critical thinking skills.

U.S. History

Grade 8

The 8th grade course traces the origins

of American society from settlement

through the Civil War. Students examine

the founding of the republic and examine

the creation of American government

through the Constitution and the Bill of


Rights in historical and philosophical

perspective as it applies to issues, cases,

and controversies. Reading, discussion,

writing, debate, presentation, and roleplaying

help us synthesize information

from primary and secondary sources to

prepare students for further historical and

social inquiry.

Ancient World History

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 and examine

the development of world religions,

politics, and philosophy. Students write

independent research papers and learn the

fundamentals of historical research and


Modern World History

Grade 10

The Modern World course examines

history beginning with the era of the

Renaissance in Europe and continuing

to the present day. Students examine

colonialism, nationalism, world conflicts,

and the place of individuals in society.

Using discussion-based learning, and

problem-based approaches, students use

critical thinking skills to engage theories,

perspectives, and philosophies as they

work to understand historical patterns and



United States 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.


American Political Theory

In this senior elective, students in the

Political Theory class seek to understand

the theory and ideology of the Framing and

Ratification of the American Constitution,

and how that Constitution has been put

into practice over the history of the United

States. Students study the philosophical

ideas behind the Founding Fathers, as

well as Supreme Court decisions, current

events, and literature and other media

having to do with self-government.

Students engage in reading and discussion

about current and historical issues, and

what it means to be a citizen of this

community and country.

Globalization & Global Studies

Looking at the world from a modern

global perspective, students examine the

development of interconnections between

people and societies in the 21st century.

The course investigates the economic

development and integration between

and among people, private companies,

and nation-states. Students explore the

effects on the environment, labor, culture

and political systems. Finally, students

produce a capstone project that examines

one problem in the world based on

globalization and propose ways to address

the issue using research methodologies

taught in the course

United States Social History: An

Examination of Social Movements

The course is an examination of 20th

century American history using readings,

music, documentaries, lectures, discussions

and primary sources as students travel

through the century decade by decade. The

class focuses closely and comparatively

on the 1920s,1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Students examine how the themes of

freedom and social movement intertwine

with race, gender, class, sub-culture and

popular musical culture. The overarching

themes of the class are freedom, race,

and gender. Students are required to

think historically and critically in their

understanding of American history and

culture in the 20th century.




That our students learn a second

language well is evident all over

campus - mid-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.

Heritage Spanish

Grades 6-7

This class is offered to 6th and 7th

grade students with a strong proficiency

in Spanish. This advanced language

instruction is typically for students who

speak Spanish at home or come from

dual language programs. Students explore

themes such as Latina women in history

and the idea of the hero in reading,

conversation, essays, and multimedia

presentations. While this is a course based

in conversation, students also receive

supplemental lessons in grammar. The

focus is to produce articulate and wellrounded

speakers and writers in Spanish.

Middle School Language



Grades 6-8

Students learn Spanish and French

through songs, games, and role-play in an

environment where the focus is on creating

community and enjoying the learning

process. The focus is on verbal practice

and building confidence as we begin the

process of creating passionate, engaged,

life-long language learners. In French,

students collaborate in an immersion

atmosphere to build objects from Rube

Goldberg machines to Parisian Monuments.

In Spanish students explore the culture

and ecology of Costa Rica as a means of

preparing for the opportunity to travel to

Costa Rica in the 8th grade.



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 francophone countries. Students

work together to write dialogue and

stories, build fictional cities, and cook

French meals. French is primarily spoken

in an immersion environment, 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,

proficient speakers and capable writers.

Spanish 4 - Advanced Grammar

through Latin American Film

Grade 11

Using Latin American films and

documentaries as a point of departure,

students research and discuss issues

in Latin American history and politics.

Students explore idioms and new

vocabulary connected to films such

as “Maria Full of Grace,” “El Norte,”

and “Motorcycle Diaries.” Students are

introduced to complex issues of grammar

which they apply in writing critical essays

and preparing oral presentations on

contemporary social, cultural, and political

issues such as immigration, the impact of

the economy on different social classes,

and gender differences in Latin American

culture. Students learn critical thinking

skills and deepen their verbal and written

expression in Spanish.

Spanish 5 - Border Studies and

Special Topics in Latin American


Grade 12

This class explores the concept of creating

and negotiating borders between countries,

cultures, and languages. Students engage

in a series of readings related to the history

and politics of immigration between

Latin America and the United States.

Students interview an immigrant, prepare

a transcript, and then present it to the

class. Students travel to the border at El

Paso, where they have the opportunity to

speak with advocates for the immigrant

community, immigration agents, and

hear powerful testimony from people


who have been deported back to Mexico.

Students develop a broader understanding

of all of the social, cultural, economic,

and political complexities immigration

presents. Students also participate in

Modelo Naciones Unidas Version en

Español (Spanish Model United Nations).

This is one of the first of its kind conducted

in the United States and includes a diverse

group of schools in a conference hosted

at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Students learn the language of diplomacy

to advocate for countries and policies with

Spanish speakers.


Performing/Visual Art Rotation for

Grades 6 and 7 on page 5


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


Intro to Theater

Grade 8

This one-year course provides a solid

introduction to the performing arts

focusing primarily on acting and

touching base on theatrical production.

Included in this curriculum are workshop

segments covering auditioning, character

development, vocal work, monologues,

scenes, improvisation, musical theater

history, and performance (including singing

and dancing.) Students also explore the

technical tools that enhance an actor’s

process. This includes make-up design,

costuming, prop manipulation and

construction, and a general overview of

all the technical and production elements

that are needed to produce a “show.”

Students have multiple opportunities to

perform individually as well as with other

classmates. Ideally, this course provides a

solid foundation of information that gives

the student a better understanding of our

theatrical process, prepare them for upper

school classes and productions, develop

confidence within themselves when it

comes to public presentation, pique the

student’s interest in multiple areas of the

performing arts, and of course have fun!

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.”


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

reading, 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 focuses on blending

of intonation, articulation, dynamics, and

expression. Some music theory is covered,

as is the context of the music.

Student must provide instrument.


Beginning Guitar

Intermediate Guitar

Advanced Guitar

A year-long class

The Sandia Prep Guitar program is open

to any middle or upper school student

who has an interest in learning guitar. All

three class levels 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.

Triple Threat

Grades 9-10

The one year “Triple Threat” class

allows students to experience the three

performing arts disciplines: acting, singing,

and dancing. The emphasis in this class

is to strengthen EACH of the elements

and create a well-rounded “triple threat

performer.” Students rotate through all


three areas of performance learning

the tools and techniques needed for

performance as well as having additional

time to further focus and develop their

chosen “threat.” Students are encouraged

to take this Triple Threat course prior to

splitting off into the individual performance

electives offered in upper school

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.

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.

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


Performing/Visual Art Rotation for

Grades 6 and 7 on page 5


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. Interesting items find their

way out of our recycle bins to become

plastic bottle and tire sculptures.

The Prep art students ensure that art

surrounds the school, offering up

a spirit and energy that carries 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.

Grade 8 Art

From drawing lessons in the garden

to building chairs entirely from paper,

students explore both traditional and

contemporary approaches to design,

drawing, printmaking, and sculpture

in a class that keeps the “fun” in


Clay & Sculpture 1-3

Grades 10-12

Year-long class

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 9-12

Year-long class

As they explore advanced techniques

in drawing and painting, students also

engage in new processes of making

art, using a variety of materials such as

canvas, wood, and silk. Students keep

a sketchbook and participate in group


Photography 1-3

Grades 10-12

Year-long class

In a fully equipped traditional darkroom,


students begin by learning the materials,

processes, and aesthetics of black and

white photography. Advanced Photo

classes introduce students to more

complex processes including the traditional

silver process, cliche-verre, cyanotype, and



Digital Media & Communications

Rotation for Grades 6 and 7 on

page 5



Because the ever-expanding world

of communication is one without

boundaries, today’s students must

be prepared to adapt to all emerging

forms of media. The Digital Media

& Communications (DMC) program

teaches fundamental skills and concepts

required in that rapidly evolving and

highly stimulating media environment.

DMC courses allow students the

freedom and creative space to design,

problem solve, and confidently

maneuver the world of global

communication. They create effective

visual presentations, write clearly

for a specific audience, and create,

manipulate, and analyze digital images.

Students can tackle tough issues for the

school newspaper, design pages for the

yearbook, and dive into the art of digital

imagery with photography and film.

From traditional reporting, writing and

photography to filmmaking and cuttingedge

computer design, students explore

the capabilities of professional tools and

platforms. All courses are project- and

product-based, challenging students to

apply their skills and knowledge to realworld


Digital Multimedia

Grades 8

Year-long class

This course prepares students for 21st

Century graphic design, digital imaging,

animation, desktop publishing, video

editing, and webpage design. Students

learn how to harness the power of

Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite: PhotoShop,

Illustrator, LightRoom, Animate, After

Effects, InDesign, Premiere, Audition, and



Grade 8

Year-long class

Students get an introduction to digital

filmmaking techniques and processes, from

scripting and storyboarding to shooting and

editing. All students that sign up for this

class 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 begin creating

many interesting video projects, such as

movie trailers, commercials, PSAs, music

videos, and short stories. Students use

state-of-the-art cameras and software in

Prep’s state-or-the-art Digital Media Lab.


Graphic Design

Grade 9-12

A one-semester elective

Students with an interest in Photoshop

and Illustrator develop skills using Adobe’s

powerful applications in graphic design

projects including movie posters, magazine

covers, and photo colorization. Units 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 Animate, where the

foundations of keyframes, shape tweens,

motion-tweens, and the bone tool are

presented. The class culminates with Blender,

a state-of-the-art 3D animation software suite.

Students’ animation projects are uploaded

onto personal websites.

Video Editing & Special Effects

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

Students learn to edit video and do postproduction

special effects work using highend

software such as Adobe Premiere Pro

and After Effects. The main objective is

trimming clips and constructing well-paced

and visually exciting video sequences. The

course emphasizes the fine arts of color

correction and audio editing to give films

a professional appearance and balanced

sound. Additionally, students learn basic

keyframing and color keying with a green


Access Prep: Broadcasting

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

This course prepares students to produce

a monthly multimedia news broadcast for

the Sandia Prep community via YouTube.

Course topics include developing a

basic working knowledge of digital

video cameras, sound and video editing,

interviewing techniques, lighting effects,

creating news and feature stories, and

honing public speaking and presentation

skills for modern media applications.

Student roles include cameraman,

reporter, editor, and web host. Students

use high-end cameras, audio and lighting

equipment, as well as professional video

and audio editing software, such as Adobe

Creative Cloud Suite 2017: Premiere,

PhotoShop, Audition, and After Effects.

Webpage Design

Grades 9-12

A one-semester class

Students combine creative vision

with technical knowledge to produce

informative, appealing, and easy-touse

websites. In this hands-on course,

students explore strategies to effectively

communicate using the internet. Students

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 are

uploaded to a live web server.


Applied Digital Design

Grades 10-12

A year-long class

Each student in this hands-on digital

marketing lab works 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 shoot video,

take photographs, and develop their skills

with the Adobe Creative Suite to produce

multimedia and desktop publishing

projects. Students 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 course.

Digital Film 1-4

Grades 9-12

A year-long class

Those students who love film explore all

the elements of writing, directing, and

producing a film of their own. Students

create short movies, work in collaborative

groups to brainstorm, write, shoot, plan

camera techniques, and edit. The class

also participates in the several annual

film festivals, contests, and showcases,

including Prep’s own Captured Sparks



Grades 9-12

A year-long class

For students interested in producing the

monthly school newspaper, the Sandia

Prep Times, this is the class. In this studentmanaged

course, staff members are

responsible for planning the content of the

newspaper; conducting interviews; writing

news stories, features, editorials, columns,

and reviews; editing stories; writing

headlines; taking and editing photographs;

and designing the newspaper using Adobe

InDesign and Photoshop.


Grades 9-12

A year-long class

This journalism class is primarily

concerned with the production of the

school’s yearbook, the “Sandglass.” In this

class, students work together to complete a

200 page all digital, full color publication

for distribution at the end of the school

year. Students use Adobe InDesign, Adobe

Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to design

layouts and headlines, digitally crop and

prepare photos for placement, and write

captions and yearbook copy to capture the

events and highlights of the school year.

In addition, staff members are responsible

for taking photos, conducting interviews,

organizing and helping with senior pages,

and working with parents on the senior ad

section. Staff members work cooperatively

with editors and the advisor to make sure

that all deadlines are met on time.



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 events.

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 pursued.

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 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 are 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 occur in

specific time frames. Students demonstrate

capabilities of analyzing fitness

components, goal-setting, and applying

classroom activities to their general wellbeing.

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.

Sandia Prep offers one PE credit for any

high school student who participates

in an athletic activity. Athletic activity

is defined by competing against an

opponent(s). Students must participate

for two semesters in one year or one

semester over two years to receive credit

for PE. For students participating in

athletics outside of Sandia Prep, they

must have the Athletic Participation Form

signed by their parent(s) and coach(es).

All athletic activities must be approved

by the Athletic Director/PE Department

Chair to receive PE credit. This doesn’t

apply to eighth grade students who are

participating at the upper school level.


532 Osuna Road NE • Albuquerque, NM 87113

505.338.3000 • 505.338.3099 (fax) •

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