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CURRICULUM & COURSES

Inspiring. Informative. Fun! ICL Academy’s online school course offerings are designed and taught by experts in digital education, and span a range of subjects to help students learn and explore their interests.

Curriculum and Courses

We offer a host of engaging courses for students in grades 7-12. Courses draw on real-life experiences, offer a global perspective, and help both students who want to leap forward or just catch up.

Click on the videos below to take a deeper look.

ICL Academy Course Structure (A Deeper Look)

Video of Our Teachers

Video of Learning Management System (Loom video of Buzz, an example teacher teaching a class) – 30 seconds

ENGLISH

English 7

In English 7, students will learn to read a text closely, work with evidence, understand perspectives, and read for research purposes. Themes explored will include journeys and survival, identity, slavery, and the effects of screen time on the developing adolescent brain. Students will explore both fiction and non-fiction texts, sometimes side-by-side, and learn to use multiple texts to build a richer, more nuanced understanding of a topic. Units will include a variety of writing assignments, as well as more open-ended projects that allow students to make the learning their own. Vocabulary and grammar will be taught in context throughout the course.

English 8

In English 8, students will continue reading texts closely, working with evidence, and exploring different perspectives. They will build on these skills to learn how to conduct research and develop an informed opinion. Themes explored will include refugee experiences, taking a stand, sustainable food, and divergent experiences in World War II. Students will explore longer fiction texts, as well as a variety of non-fiction texts to build a rich, nuanced understanding of complex topics. Students will engage in both writing tasks and more open-ended, self-directed projects. Vocabulary and grammar will be taught in context throughout the course.

English 9

In this course, students are introduced to the concept of close reading and are expected to think critically about the decisions authors make. A review of literary terms begins the year and sets students on a course of discovery that includes the reading of seminal texts like The Catcher in the Rye and Macbeth. These works, among others, help students understand complex themes and the relationship between disparate works of literature. Through an introduction to rhetorical strategies, students begin to craft sophisticated essays and speeches that take into account the perceptions of an audience.

English 10

This course seeks to help students appreciate an understanding of self through a careful study of literary and informational works. Students are asked to consider the point of view from which a story is told as a method of interpretation. Death of a Salesman and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remain staples of sophomore English with an emphasis on how Miller and Twain create tragedy and humor, respectively. Students use published writing as models from which to base their own original work, including a short story portfolio and a satire project.

English 11

English 11 exposes students to a multitude of classic and modern texts by a diverse array of authors. Students will be prompted to flex their writing abilities via a number of expressive, creative, analytical, and expository modes. As they read and write, students will acquire greater vocabulary proficiency and sharpen their critical reading strategies. They will be prompted to reflect on the varying imperatives of society and how language bolsters thought, community, and dissent. As the course proceeds, students will be encouraged to discover their own voices and emboldened to express them.

English 12

English 12 is the culmination of your high school English career. Traditionally, there is usually a focus on British literature and reflections on how that time period shaped what we know today, but this course is a bit different. While we will look back at some of the British English history that has gotten us here, it’s important for us to use this course and this time to prepare for what lies ahead after graduation. The goal is to drive curiosity about our world, make relevant connections to inspire real learning, and create pathways to demonstrate your understanding of and appreciation for your education.

Because student learning in this course is based on increasing independence, the focus is removed from traditional tests and quizzes and instead turned toward thoughtful introspection and observation. You will showcase your knowledge of a subject by writing, reading, and thinking about a variety of topics and ideas and using your voice as a means of expression.

When it comes down to it, English is the basis for how we communicate with each other. We are constantly developing skills on reading, writing, and listening, which leads to critical thinking, understanding varying viewpoints, and responding thoughtfully and purposefully. In this course, we will continue to build and strengthen those skills you already have as a way to prepare you for what lies ahead.

HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES

Social Studies 7

Seventh Grade Social Studies covers American history, from pre-Columbian habitation to the end of the Civil War. The course seeks to introduce students to American history and critical thinking through overarching themes such as geography, socio-economical and political trends, and human migration. The course is divided into six units: Geography and pre-Columbian Native American Society; Colonial Development and the Independence Movement; Early Republic and Expansion of Slavery; Westward Expansion and Native Americans; Industrialization and Early Reform Movements; Abolitionism, Anti-Federalism, and the Civil War. The course is structured for independent distance learners, and utilizes taught and self-guided project-based learning. Students will practice making connections between current times and historical content.

Social Studies 8

Eighth Grade Social Studies picks up from the end of Social Studies Grade Seven and covers Reconstruction to current events. The course seeks to continue students’ education in American history and critical thinking through overarching themes such as geography, socio-economical and political trends, human migration, globalization, conflict, and technological development. The course is divided into seven units: Reconstruction; Industrialization, Immigration, and Urbanization; Domestic and International Imperialism; Progressivism, World War 1, and The Roaring Twenties; The Great Depression and World War 2; The Civil Rights Era and Political Reorganization; The Cold War and Modern History. Students will practice making connections between their own times and the historical content they’re learning, and, where applicable, the histories, major players, taught skills, and thematics inherent to their passions/interests.

World History 1

World History I begins with the first human beings & settlements, and extends to the Renaissance around 1500 c.e. Because of the nature of the material, this course will begin with a brief overview on Anthropology and Archeological studies that help us uncover the past. The course will then delve into the world’s first great empires in Egypt, India, China, the Middle East, Greece, and Rome. Finally, the course will conclude with a brief overview of the events that led to the rise of European city-states, the Crusades, and the infamous bubonic plague. This content will be delivered through a wide variety of resources to help students develop an understanding of the effect of religion on societies, causes and results of major wars, cultural impacts of imperialism and global connections, and the role of government in the lives of people. Students will be given various options to demonstrate their understanding of the content through applications and project-based tasks that will focus more on understanding human nature and society than memorization of dates and facts.

World History 2

World History II begins with the 16th century, and extends to the present day. The content will build on the previous lessons from World History I, and will cover major topics such as: the Renaissance, Religious Upheavals, Exploration, Imperialism, Revolutions, World Wars, the Cold War, and major developments in the post-modern era. Emphasis will be placed on delivering content through a wide variety of resources to help students develop an understanding of “big picture” ideas and critical thinking. In doing so, students will apply social science skills to engage in their exploration of the global challenges of the twenty-first century. Students will be given various options to demonstrate their understanding of the content through applications and project-based tasks that will focus more on the understanding of human nature and society than memorization of dates and facts.

US History

This course begins with the earliest inhabitants of the Americas and extends through to the 20th Century. Major topics covered include: Early Colonization, the American Revolution, First Governments, the Civil War, the Rise of Industrialization, the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the developments in the United States during the Postmodern Era. This content will be delivered through a wide variety of resources to help students develop an understanding of the economic, social, and political history of the United States. The course will focus on “big picture” ideas, and challenging students to process knowledge critically rather than focusing on rote memorization of dates and facts. As such, students will be given various options to demonstrate and apply their understanding of the content through applications and project-based tasks.

Economics and Gov

The course seeks to inform students on the basics of micro and macro economics, and give them a working idea of the working patterns and ideology of American representative democracy. Both semesters will involve significant work with current events. Students will engage in real-world modelled problem-solving exercises across eight units, which will help prepare them for life in America as autonomous citizens. They will also write one major paper per semester, which will require outside sources. Specific connections to the material can/will be made by drawing in passions and interests, such as the economic trade-off of going to college vs gaming professionally; or the impact of governmental regulation and oversight on certain performance-enhancing drugs.

SCIENCE

Social Studies 7

Grade 7 Science is a year-long course that covers a variety of introductory science topics. Earth and environmental science topics include earth systems, structures and processes. Life science topics cover the structure and functions of living organisms, evolution, and genetics. Physical science objectives introduce students to forces and motion, Newton’s Laws of motion, and energy conservation and transfer. Concepts and skills are reinforced by real-life applications and projects and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, and the utilization of technology are included.

Science 8

The Grade 8 science course covers a variety of introductory science topics. Students will study matter and its properties and change. Topics include properties, physical change, reactivity, the Periodic Table, and balancing equations. Energy conservation and change will also be examined, including the evaluation of natural resources and fossil fuels. The study of earth systems, structures, and processes will include water distribution, oceans, estuaries, and upwelling. Earth history presents the history of Earth and its life forms. The structure and functions of living organisms will also be examined as well as ecosystems, evolution and genetics, and molecular biology. Concepts and skills are reinforced by real-life applications and projects and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, athletics, and the utilization of technology are included.

Biology

Biology provides students all the necessary tools and guidance to learn salient biological topics using NGSS as a guide. The topics include but are not limited to: brain function, plant systems, evolution, diversity, cell structure, and cell specialization. The pedagogical tools utilized include but are not limited to: flipped classroom learning, video learning, OpenStax textbook (and others) learning, interactive applet learning, and group-project learning. In addition to base topics, this course will cover modern events and how they relate to biology.

Chemistry

The Chemistry course is a standards-based study of fundamental chemical concepts, such as atomic theory and its relation to chemical behavior, chemical bonding, the mole and stoichiometry, molecular kinetics, energy relationships, solution dynamics, acids-bases, and nuclear interactions. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, and communication skills as well as interdisciplinary approaches to discovery. Concepts and skills are reinforced by a strong emphasis on real-life applications and projects and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, athletics, and the utilization of technology are included.

Physics

Physics provides students all the necessary tools and guidance to learn salient physics topics using NGSS as a guide. The topics include but are not limited to: kinematics, newton’s laws, projectile motion, forces, gravitation.work and energy, static electricity, circuits, and wave motion. The pedagogical tools utilized include but are not limited to: flipped classroom learning, video learning, OpenStax textbook (and others) learning, interactive applet learning, and group-project learning. In addition to base topics, this course will cover modern events and how they relate to physics.

Earth Science

The study of Earth science includes many different fields, including geology, meteorology, oceanography, climatology, meteorology, environmental science and astronomy. This is an overview course of all these topics. Earth system science provides a physical basis for understanding the world in which we live and upon which humankind seeks to achieve sustainability. Included in this course are many applications of how the earth sciences have a direct effect on our lives. Concepts and skills are reinforced with an emphasis on real-life applications and projects and the integration of other branches of science. Applications to society, individuals, athletics, and the utilization of technology are included.

MATH

Math 7

Math 7 is a full year long course that introduces students to essential mathematical literacy and reasoning skills. Students will begin by learning about the number system including properties of integers and rational numbers. Students will then learn about Linear Equations, Proportions and Similarity, Linear Functions, Percents, Data Analysis and Probability, Volume and Surface Area, Measurement and Proportional Reasoning, Transformations, and Geometry and Spatial Reasoning. The course will incorporate real world examples and illustrative projects to expose students to a wide variety of applications for these important skills.

Pre-Algebra

This class will review the basic operations of arithmetic on whole numbers, fractions and decimals. These operations will be used in dealing with ratio, proportions, percent, simple geometry and algebra. As students master these basic concepts, they will move into basic algebra. Students will be expected to understand basic operations with integers, rational numbers, irrational, and real numbers; the use of variables; properties of numbers and of equality; solving equations and inequalities; problem solving; relations and functions; and polynomials.

Algebra

The course content focuses heavily on functions, specifically linear, quadratic and exponential functions, expressions, equations, inequalities, equivalence, and statistics. To help students become mathematically proficient, classroom activities integrate three components of learning: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and problem-solving.

Geometry

Students will utilize visual and spatial reasoning to analyze geometric relationships and identify and justify these relationships through formal and informal proofs. Additionally, students will apply transformations, symmetry and coordinate geometry to problem solving situations. Students apply algebra skills and concepts to various geometric concepts. To help students become mathematically proficient, classroom activities integrate three components of learning: conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and problem solving.

Alg 2/Trig

Algebra 2 is the third math course in high school and will guide students through, among other topics, linear equations, inequalities, graphs, matrices, polynomials and radical expressions, quadratic equations, functions, exponential and logarithmic expressions, sequences and series, probability and trigonometry.

Pre-Calc

This course provides preparation for those students who intend to continue their study of mathematics, whether in the direction of the natural or physical sciences, or in the direction of the social sciences. Content emphasis will include: functions from an algebraic and analytical perspective including their application to real life models; trigonometric functions and their application; and sequences and series. Other topics may include matrices, polar coordinates, parametric equations, limits and an introduction to calculus.

Calculus

Calculus is a year-long course that focuses on the mathematics of motion and change. Students will apply skills learned in Algebra, Geometry and Pre-Calculus to learn new concepts to quantify the living world. Students will learn many concepts in three distinct disciplines: Limits, Differentiation, and Integration. Students will learn exciting applications for each of these skills. Students will not be expected to memorize most formulas, but are expected to

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Spanish 1

This first-year course introduces students to the fundamentals of Spanish grammar and provides them with the cultural context to enrich second language learning. Authentic speaking and writing activities will give students the opportunity to practice greetings, respond to basic requests and questions. Topics include greetings, expressing likes, dislikes, and personal information as well as an introduction to the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will implement their knowledge through real-world tasks and personalized assessments. They will achieve a level of basic conversational competency and understand the importance of learning a LOT to interact in a globalized world.

Spanish 2

This is a second-year course that focuses on interpersonal communication through speaking and writing while providing cultural context in order to enrich second language learning. Topics include, expressing opinions, asking for and giving directions, and making cultural comparisons. Analysis of short documentaries and texts relevant to students’ passions will allow for a more personalized experience. Students will continue to develop their listening comprehension skills and make connections to home culture through authentic documents and popular culture.

Spanish 3

This third-year course builds on Spanish I and II as students continue to develop their proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading in target language. Students will review the basic grammar concepts and hone their Spanish comprehension abilities with authentic documents and real-world speaking tasks. By examining cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world and expanding their conversational skills, students will learn the benefits of being able to communicate in a language other than English in today’s multicultural world.

Chinese 1

Chinese 1 is a unique combination of Chinese culture and language, weaving cultural comparisons with the study of basic Chinese. While examining various cultural elements of the Chinese-speaking world such as traditions and lifestyles, students will learn the Chinese phonetic system Pinyin and gain an understanding of the Chinese writing system, Hanzi (Chinese characters.) Grammar is introduced incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way. Through various synchronous and asynchronous assignments, including hands-on projects and face-to-face communications, students will develop their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Chinese. The ultimate goal of this course is to build basic communication skills in Chinese and raise awareness and appreciation of different cultures. This course is appropriate for beginner-level students.

Chinese 2

Chinese 2 continues with the unique combination of Chinese culture and language, weaving cultural comparisons with the study of basic Chinese. Students will continue to develop language skills and cultural competency to communicate in different scenarios. Grammar is introduced incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way. Through various synchronous and asynchronous assignments, including hands-on projects and face-to-face communications, students will develop their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Chinese. The ultimate goal of this course is to continue to build basic communication skills in Chinese and raise awareness and appreciation of different cultures. This course is appropriate for students who demonstrate the mastery of Chinese 1 skills, or a proficiency level of Novice Mid according to the ACTFL standards.

ELECTIVES

Leadership

The ICL curriculum has been crafted to ensure that our work is having maximum, measurable impact in our communities. With over a decade of experience in creating impactful training that is relevant and accessible to global youth, we continue to transform student enthusiasm into authentic action. Participants of our lectures, training sessions, programs, and academies all build skills, discuss environmental and social issues, and come to see themselves as agents of change, not waiting for the right time, but ready to take action today.

Business of Sport/Financial Literacy

The Business of Sport/Financial Literacy curriculum will focus on (1) how a sports team, event, or venue operates through various forms of financial properties including, but not limited to: ticketing, sponsorship, promotions, etc. Media relations and how they can form a partnership with the entity will also be studied in this unit and is crucial to the overall success and image of the team, event, or venue.
(2) Learning basic financial concepts from an athlete’s standpoint including financial goal setting and the specifics of creating, implementing, and maintaining a financial freedom plan. Topics to include, but not limited to: personal financial planning, saving, budgeting, banking, credit, debt, insurance, investments, taxes, building your brand, and post career opportunities will also be studied.

Entrepreneurship

In this course students will study the concepts of going into business for themselves and working for or operating a small business. Emphasis is on the exploration of feasible ideas of products/services, research procedures, business financing, marketing strategies, and access to resources for starting a small business. Students develop components of a business plan and evaluate startup requirements.

Performance Psychology

The course will provide an overview of the field of sports psychology and exercise, which involves applying psychology topics to exercise, sports, competition and health. Topics will cover how sports psychologists’ work –at any level- with athletes and teams in motivation, concentration, and attention.

Coding

This course appeals to students who enjoy playing computer games and using their favorite apps. Coding will introduce students to creating the steps and computer language that tells games and apps how to function. Starting with drag and drop coding, students will start coding in a fun and challenging setting with games and familiar characters. Later in the course, they will move on to advanced challenges and specific computer languages, including Javascript and Python.

Introduction To Music: Theory Appreciation and Production

This course will aim to explore the foundational elements of all music to provide our students with the scaffolding to succeed in all future musical pursuits and to understand and love music on a greater level. Throughout this course we will guide our students through the fundamental elements rhythm & the western musical alphabet. We will discover how to properly utilize these fundamentals to create chords, melodies and original compositions. We will dive into some of the history of popular music and we will utilize modern digital music tools to bring our original works into the real world. By the end of this course our students will have given themselves the tools to understand and appreciate music on a deeper and more meaningful level and used that knowledge to explore their own creativity in their own way.