Program of Studies
Walpole High School
An overview of all of the offerings at Walpole High School.
The art curriculum is designed to develop the students understanding of art as a visual language. Through a series of art experiences students will; create - by conceptualizing and developing ideas, present - through interpretation, refinement and personal meaning, respond - by analyzing art to lead to understanding and appreciation, and connect -to culture around them and deepen their understanding of art making.
Ceramics & Sculpture
Students will explore and innovate visual concepts in ceramics & sculpture that have evolved during the 20th and early 21st centuries. Students will explore four sequences: foundational techniques, process-based work, realism & observational techniques, and personal aesthetic & narrative. Class discussion, critique, and written reflection are an important part of the creative process and a requirement for this course. Students will be required to document their artistic processes in their sketchbook for each project.
Printmaking & Mixed Media
This course provides an introduction to materials and printmaking techniques, and gives students the opportunity to participate in a complete studio experience from concept to exhibition of their artwork. A strong emphasis is put on exploring the artistic process, and students are encouraged to problem-solve, edit, and revise their work. Areas of exploration include: linoleum block printing, gelli plate printing, monoprinting, photography, collage and mixed materials.
Drawing & Painting
This is a drawing and painting course with an emphasis on developing and refining observational skills. Students will learn academic methods and work with classic materials. Self-portrait, still life, and landscape assignments will be given. Each student will be required to purchase a portfolio, keep a Process Journal, and practice their skills with regular homework exercises. In addition, students are required to make a commitment to doing quality work and bring creative thinking to each assignment.
This course is recommended for students interested in visual design and communication arts. Students will be given a foundation in the elements and principles of design and learn a variety of design processes. Working with many different types of media, including digital art, students will create compositions that communicate to the viewer using text and imagery. Students will keep a process journal to generate, conceptualize, organize and develop artistic behaviors.
New Media & Technology
This course is an interdisciplinary studio art class that focuses on our relationship with technology, visual culture, and performance in Contemporary Art. This practice is rooted in the traditions of avant-garde processes and experimental art making, and responds to the rapid pace of technological development. Projects challenge tradition and embrace new forms of aesthetic thinking - whether it is installation, film and video, net-art, performance, animation, immersive installations, sound, or participatory media. Each artwork created will integrate the language of art and technology through an integrated and informed critical practice of new media in the 21st century
Semiotics & Semantics
Humans perceive the world through signs, language, and meaning. SEMANTICS+SEMIOTICS is a studio art & theory class exploring the encoding of visual signs, symbols, and how they relate to language. Students will work with historical references that will enhance their artwork to communicate multiple layers of visual information. They will create art pieces that unify visual elements (ex. color, form, sound, light, etc.) with cognitive elements (ex. memory, metaphor, meaning, etc.) and text. The class also focuses on how socio-cultural, economic, and political influences affect signs and influence meaning in art making
Contemporary Art Theory & Practice
Through essential readings and group discussion, this course provides a forum for the exploration of contemporary art theories and practice. The course also aims to integrate theory and practice by requiring that students conceive, design, and execute original works of art that embody their understanding of the theories and concepts they are introduced to during the course of the semester. Some 21st century art concepts that will be explored are: globalization, public/participatory art, appropriation, hybridity, and recontextualization.
This course provides an introduction to interior design. Topics of functional and aesthetic elements for interiors will be covered. Emphasis is placed on the principles and elements of design and the selection/organization of the space. Students will explore interior design development, including spatial observations and planning as well as styles of design. Students will learn to draw floor, elevation, and camera view plans. Students will focus on the skills used by interior design professionals for space planning, designing and decorating rooms, and client-designer relationships.
Personal Finance is a full-year course designed to help students gain the skills they need as they leave home and assume adult responsibilities. Topics covered will revolve around career planning and preparation, and money management including budgeting, credit, taxes, insurance, and saving and investing
This course introduces students to basic accounting concepts as well as showcases the necessary knowledge, skills and concepts needed for future success in business. The complete accounting cycle for a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation is presented. Throughout this course, students will become familiarized with the daily activities of both a merchandising and service business with all its related business transactions, including financial statements. In addition, students effectively navigate through current technology in order to gain experience with automated accounting system. This course is recommended for students interested in majoring in business after high school.
Marketing is the act or business of promoting sales of a product, as by advertising and packaging. This course is designed to introduce the student to the Principles of Marketing from conception to sale. The influence and impact of firms, organizations, and society on the marketing process will be explored. Topics covered include but are not limited to: the role of advertising, sales promotion, market strategy, consumer behavior, product development, direct marketing, international marketing, service marketing, and marketing management. This course requires students to read critically and use creative and analytical skills to navigate through detailed case analysis and marketing projects. Strong communication and problem solving skills are recommended for success in this course.
This semester course is designed to help students understand the principles of starting a small business with an emphasis on business opportunities. Entrepreneurial businesses are a driving force in today’s economy. Student responsibility and initiative are encouraged as business strategies are created, planned, and presented as a final product. Through the use of research, class assignments, guest lecturers, simulations, and the design of a business plan, students will understand and demonstrate their skill in using the tools needed to become a successful entrepreneur.
This course is the continuation of the knowledge, skills, and concepts learned in Accounting I. Students electing this course should be interested in the further study of accounting from an interpretation and analytical viewpoint. Strong problem solving, critical thinking and research skills are necessary for success in this course. After a brief review of basic accounting, an expansion of the fundamental principles of accounting will be explored. Through the effective use of current technology, students will apply accounting principles to a variety of real world simulations. In addition, much detail will be spent evaluating major business philosophies and publications. This course is highly recommended for students considering majoring in business after high school.
Engineering & Technology
Introduction to Production Technology is an introduction to the basic concepts of the design process and reverse engineering. Students will design, construct, and finish several projects that emphasize safe and proper tool use in a woodworking lab setting. Skills regarding problem solving, precision measurements, plan reading & interpretation, as well as accurate separation will be developed throughout the semester. An emphasis is placed on safety, personal responsibility and productivity.
Technical C.A.D. is an exploration of modern drafting technology. Various projects will guide students through aspects of plane geometry, descriptive geometry, transformation geometry, and solids. Student portfolios demonstrate two-dimensional multiple view drawings as well as three dimensional views including isometric, oblique, and perspective drawings. All portfolio work is completed using the latest AutoCAD software available.
Architectural Design surveys many popular styles in modern residential construction. Students complete exercises in the visualization and drafting of structures and construction conditions using orthographic projection, isometric and sectional drawings as an expression of architectural communication. Portfolio work includes plans, elevations, details, schedules, and sections of traditionally framed structures. Students experience a simulation of an actual architectural client-based project. The instructor issues preliminary design ideas (provided by their client) from which students prepare working drawings. The challenges presented have varied architectural styles, materials, and constraints, offering a wide range of experiences in architectural drawing.
Product Design & Analysis
Product Design and Analysis is a semester course developed by the Boston Museum of Science featuring two of the four units from their “Engineering the Future” curriculum. Students examine the role of engineers and how they create our ever-evolving world by developing products, building structures, critiquing designs, and analyzing failure. Projects will be constructed of simple materials and require no specialized tools or skills and will often be redesigned and rebuilt to more accurately reflect the engineering design process. Students who successfully complete this course as well as ENERGY SYSTEMS are encouraged to take the Technology and Engineering exam to fulfill their Science MCAS in June.
Energy Systems is a semester course developed by the Boston Museum of Science featuring two of the four units from their “Engineering the Future” curriculum. Students examine thermal energy, fluid energy, and electrical energy in order to experience the similarities and differences in several energy systems. Students then design and build systems to maximize certain criteria (power, efficiency, materials cost, lifespan, etc.) using simple materials and tools. Communication of design advantages and limitations are emphasized during each project. Students who successfully complete this course as well as PRODUCT DESIGN & ANALYSIS are encouraged to take the Technology and Engineering exam to fulfill their Science MCAS in June.
Electronics is a hands-on exploration of modern electronics technology. Students will begin by learning proper soldering techniques and identifying major electronic components. Various projects guide students through aspects of series and parallel circuits in both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) applications. Students will use multimeters and oscilloscopes to dissect, analyze and design circuits in class. Several math and science principals will be emphasized including Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s Law, the conservation of energy and properties of waves and magnetism. Students should have some experience solving simple algebraic equations.
Robotics is an interactive course designed to engage students, promote creativity, and develop fundamental science and math skills. Students work in groups exploring the engineering design process in constructing various projects using the Lego MindStorms NXT kit. Students must also teach their robot to operate autonomously by using a visual programming language called LabVIEW. Projects examine simple principles such as gear ratios, pulleys, levers, torque, and speed. Students are encouraged to use proper robotics vocabulary, standardized programming techniques, and analytical communication skills essential in the engineering field today.
This course is designed as an introduction to the engineering profession. Classroom discussions and presentations will inform the students of many different avenues available to one in the field of engineering. Additionally, Engineering Design examines the form and function of structural and mechanical systems. Student projects will follow the engineering design process and cover topics including solids, modeling, rendering, and simple animation. Professional standards and tolerance sensitive manufacturing will be stressed throughout the course to give students real-world experience with the engineering field. Furthermore, each computer generated design will be manufactured/designed using 21st Century software technology.
AP Computer Science Principles
This course is intended for students who have a desire to pursue advanced topics in computer science. This course is the equivalent of two semesters of college computer science. The course will follow the College Board syllabus for AP Computer Science Principles and includes programming in the Python programming language. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and a career. Details about the course content can be found by accessing the College Board website. Students are prepared for and required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in May.
This is an essential and practical course for every student, as it emphasizes the use of computers and current technology throughout high school, college and future careers. This course is designed to familiarize students of all abilities with the necessary knowledge, skills and concepts needed to navigate through the history of computers and their relevant applications. Students will explore the fundamentals of common software packages, with the focus on: word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, survey and database applications. In addition, students will complete numerous hands-on activities, designed to strengthen their confidence levels using the computer and its ever-changing applications.
Creative Writing: Poetry & The Screenplay
The Creative Writing course functions much like a college writing workshop. The students engage in a semester long poetry unit that encourages their writing through peer editing and teacher evaluation. Other units include the screenplay and the short story. Due to the amount of work and individual freedom given in this class, students considering this class should not only be motivated writers, but also be well-organized and disciplined students. All student poetry compiled in the class will be considered for publication in the high school’s literary magazine, The Cricket. The Walpole High School Film Festival will consider all student screenplays for production.
This course will help students improve personal communication, awareness, and effectiveness. Students will research, organize, and develop a variety of public speeches (informative speech, persuasive speech, small group presentation, toast, etc.). Students will enhance their ability to deliver speeches to an audience and learn how to analyze an audience and the communication of other public speakers. Students will present one speech every cycle, reflect their performance in self-evaluations, participate in group activities and peer evaluations, and respond to and analyze readings about communication and films of famous speakers.
Students constantly receive messages from the media and society about who they are and what they are supposed to be. This semester course will teach students to deconstruct these messages in order to understand what really comprises their identity. Students will engage in discussions that raise awareness of stereotypes, challenge students to question their own biases, and discuss ways to promote respect.
This course is designed to give students a background in the artistically important films made in the past 30 years. It will introduce students to the basics of film analysis, cinematic formal elements, genre, and narrative structure and helps students develop the skills to recognize, analyze, describe and enjoy film as an art and entertainment form. While this class is not required for future film students, it is recommended to those students who wish to take the Digital Filmmaking class. The class will begin with a focus on the influential directors of the 70s and 80s (Kubrick, Scorcese, Spielberg, Lynch) who inspired today’s filmmakers; then, we will take a deep dive into today’s modern masters: David Fincher, Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson, Nicolas Winding Refn, Edgar Wright, among others. This course requires critical thinking and analysis, as well as a high degree of class participation and thoughtful discussion.
The goal of the Foreign Language Department is communicative proficiency in a second language. We believe, as stated in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, “all students should become proficient in at least one language other than English by the time they graduate from high school.” Cultural literacy is also a strong component of all foreign language learning. History, literature, mythology, art, architecture, geography, music, and customs are important aspects of the curriculum and are incorporated into all levels of instruction.
This course is an introduction to Mandarin Chinese, the focus of which will be the development of all four-language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Writing will focus on the Chinese alphabet and the Kang Xi radicals. Students will explore the traditional and simplified characters used in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Additionally, there will be extensive use of audio resources and the language laboratory.
In this class, the study of basic grammatical structures and vocabulary is more intensive than in the standard Latin I class. Culture units are more in depth and outside projects and papers will be assigned. Latin roots and English derivatives will also be a component of the course.
Health & Fitness
Health and Physical Education have been integrated to teach effective means of establishing a lifestyle based on healthy attitudes and actions. Fitness for life is an active process of becoming aware of and making positive choices toward a better-adjusted life style. Health has six dimensions: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Social, Spiritual, and Environmental. A modern Health and Physical Education program can and should result in many benefits for students, staff, and community members. These benefits would include healthier, selfconfident, more relaxed individuals who are educated in enjoyable and affordable ways to initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Foundations of Sports Medicine
The Foundations of Sports Medicine will provide students with a general overview of sports medicine and its history, with a focus on the profession of athletic training. This course will entail discussion of various "hot topics" within high school, college, and professional sports as well as introductory information about the athletic trainer's scope of practice. Topics will include: introduction to the sports medicine team, human anatomy and physiology, injury prevention/treatment/rehabilitation, emergency management, sports psychology, strength training and conditioning, nutrition, supplements and performance enhancing drugs, and the effects of recreational substance use on athletic performance. While students will not be permitted to provide patient care in the above areas, this course is intended to help gain an understanding of the various disciplines within sports medicine, and the role they each play within the physically-active community. Students will also have the opportunity to obtain their American Red Cross Certification in Child/Adult First Aid, CPR, and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Digital Film Making
This film class is devoted to teaching students how to make independent short films. Students study the different aspects of preproduction, production, and postproduction. These skills include script revision, storyboards, art direction, camera work, and editing. Students will complete both independent and group projects that utilize all skills learned throughout the course.
Digital Media Applications
Digital Media Applications is a class that utilizes computer-based software applications used by a variety of media industries. Students learn basic tools and techniques in the Adobe Creative Suite, including units in the following areas: Photoshop and Premiere Pro. Students will build skills and exercise their creativity in photo manipulation and digital video editing in creating a number of focused projects. An online portfolio will be created by each student. Students are informed about career opportunities and prepared to pursue their talents or interests in digital media.
This course is open to students in Honors and CP1 English levels who would like to explore the field of journalism. Emphasis will be on journalistic writing techniques as well as desktop publishing skills essential to the production of the school newspaper, The Rebellion. This course is recommended for students who possess strong writing skills.
This course is open to all students who have an interest in design, writing, editing, and graphic arts. The class will engage in page design, research, copy writing, photography, graphic design, marketing, editing, and time management skills. The published yearbook is the only complete record of this school year that will ever be published. Students will create the memories that alumni can look back on five, ten, twenty years from now and reminisce fondly about. It will be students’ responsibility to create a dynamic, well-represented, creative, and professional publication that the whole school can be proud of.
Television Production provides theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in television broadcast and video procedures, including studio and field production. Students operate and direct all components of television studio equipment, including camera, audio, lighting, graphics and editing. In addition, they perform in, produce, and direct productions that include newscasts, commercials, and music videos. Class size is limited.
The Social Studies curriculum is intended to prepare students for enlightened and responsible citizenship. For those students who plan to attend four year colleges, Economics, United States Government, Psychology, and Sociology are recommended as courses which enhance the goals of academic preparation. International Relations, Microeconomics/Macroeconomic, U.S. History I and II Honors, Advanced Placement U.S. History, Advanced Placement European History, and World History Honors are designed to be academically rigorous courses that provide an accelerated and intensive study of those disciplines. Street Law and History & Culture Through Film are offered for those students who wish to enrich their backgrounds in preparation for further study, as well as prepare for active participation in our democratic society.
International Relations HR
Students electing this course are expected to engage in the study of the contemporary international world through extensive readings and outside projects for an understanding of the institutions, the mechanisms, and the social, political, and economic conditions influencing the conduct of international relations today. Special attention is paid to the United Sates as the dominant hegemon. While the ultimate goal is to provide students with the information needed to assess past and present developments in international relations, equally important is the preparation of the student in those methods of inquiry, which will allow them to produce superior results in future academic activities. Text, periodicals, simulations, research papers, panels, and guest speakers are utilized in order to maximize the academic experiences of students and to expand their scholastic capacities. Juniors taking this course must also be enrolled in the United States History program.
Micro/Macro Economics HR
Economics is the study of how individuals and societies decide to use their scarce resources to meet their limitless wants and needs. Microeconomics examines how human behavior and choices shape the marketplace, determining what products are available to us and at what price. Major topics of focus will include free enterprise, the interplay of supply and demand, the price system, government intervention in markets, market failure, business organization, and comparative market structures. Macroeconomics is the study of the economy as a whole, considering the interplay of economic forces on both a national and an international level. Major topics of focus will include national income, economic growth, unemployment, inflation, income inequality, government spending and taxation, monetary policy and international trade and development . Students will develop a mature understanding of how markets work and learn to apply economic thinking to current issues of public policy. Supplementary readings, critical thinking, and writing are key components of the course.
AP Psychology is a college-level course that introduces students to the study of behavior and mental processes in humans and animals. Students will begin with an examination of research methods in psychology, focusing on the unique strategies and ethical implications of studying human and animal subjects. Students will then examine the biological forces that underscore behavior, studying the impact of the nervous and endocrine systems on human behavior, sensation, and perception. This background will help students as we delve into other fields of study, including cognition, personality, abnormal psychology and social psychology. All enrolled students will be required to take the Advanced Placement exam, which allows students the opportunity to earn up to one year of college credit.
Sociology is an elective course that introduces students to knowledge and skills that will foster a deeper understanding of our social world. Students will examine a variety of topics through the lens of sociological theories and concepts and will engage in a variety of activities that will enable them to think like social scientists. The sociology student will acquire skills that will assist him/her in understanding the complexity of human behavior and the importance of using empirical data to think critically about the social world.
Introduction to Psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes. In this introductory, college prep course, students are presented with a variety of topics with the intent of acquiring a technical vocabulary and a strong foundation in the basic principles of human behavior. Topics may include personality theory and assessment, abnormal psychology, the history and science of psychology, the study of the brain, animal psychology, human development, intelligence, learning, memory, consciousness, motivation and emotion, perception, and social psychology. This course utilizes lectures, outside readings, discussions, and class activities & projects to increase students' understanding of psychology as a science. In order to be successful, students are expected to complete assignments in a timely, thorough and reflective manner.
Economics is the study of how individuals and societies decide to use their scarce resources to meet their limitless wants and needs. Students will gain a basic understanding of the workings of the economy and learn to apply economic thinking to understand and debate key public policy issues. Major topics of focus will include economic systems, the interplay of supply and demand, the price system, government intervention in markets, economic growth, unemployment, inflation, government spending and taxation, and the Federal Reserve.
History & Culture Through Film CP2
History & Culture through Film will examine a variety of American and global historic and cultural topics throughout the course of one semester. Students will explore topics and time periods using outside readings, lectures, and class discussions. All topics will be supplemented with films and/or documentaries to provide additional cultural and/or historic insight into the topics of study.
Understanding the law, its functions, and its institutions as they apply to everyday life are the objectives of this course. Students will have access to a variety of resources, including law enforcement officials, lawmakers, and attorneys. Current legal issues and rulings will be incorporated to help students recognize the influence of law in their lives. Students will investigate criminal law and civil law, including individual rights and liberties, and the responsibilities that come with these rights and liberties.
The SAT Math course is designed to help students prepare for the rigors of taking the SAT tests offered by the College Board. The primary goal is to identify and implement test taking strategies using prerequisite knowledge. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening knowledge of essential math topics specific to the SAT in order to improve student performance. Students are expected to register for the SAT prior to the conclusion of the course.
Through participation and performance in a variety of musical ensembles and programs, students will gain musical knowledge and experience, thereby enhancing their own aesthetic appreciation and that of their school and the community. The courses of study fall into the following broad categories: (a) Academic (b) Vocal (c) Instrumental.
String Orchestra is open to all string players (violin, viola, cello, upright bass) who are proficient on their instrument with at least 2 years’ experience. Students will study and perform a wide range of music literature. The important fundamentals of tone production, ensemble playing, musical interpretation and style, rhythm studies, scale and chord studies and basic musicianship are all important elements of the String Orchestra curriculum. Full Orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion) meets on Wednesday evenings starting in October. Students are required to attend all evening Wednesday rehearsals, performances and dress rehearsals. Students enrolled in this course are eligible to audition for Southeastern Districts and SEMSBA.
Concert Band is designed for students who have played a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument for at least two years. Students will study and play a wide range of music literature, from light classics and popular to the traditional music of both Western and nonWestern cultures. The important fundamentals of tone production, ensemble playing, musical interpretation, style, rhythm studies, scale/chord studies, and basic musicianship are all important elements of the Concert Band Curriculum. Students are required to attend all performances and dress rehearsals. Students enrolled in this course are eligible to audition for Southeastern Districts and SEMSBA.
Music Production w/ Garage Band
Music Production with GarageBand is an entry level course that will explore how to produce music on your computer using GarageBand and other similar programs. Students will learn how to set up a computer production system using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and an audio interface. The course will focus on learning from current recordings by analyzing the different components of the production and structure of the composition. These components will include learning the properties of sound and the various effects to enhance a basic mix including compression, EQ, chorus, delay and reverb. Students will develop a foundation in music literacy, theory, harmony and creating a lead sheet using Finale music notation software. The recording projects will provide the skills to record both audio and midi using virtual instruments. The goal of the course is to provide students the basic tools to record, mix and master a recording by the of the semester using GarageBand. It is highly recommended that students take either Piano Lab or Guitar before enrolling in this course.
AP Environmental Science