Main Menu

About Us
Administration & Staff
Fast Facts
School History
School Statistics
Midtown Business Academy
Media Technology Academy
Empire State Language for Business Academy
Academic Department Course
Career & Technical Department Course
Regents Requirements
College Office
Job & Career Center
Student Activities
Student Handbook
Code of Conduct
Contact Us

Adobe Reader® is required to view and print the documents on this website. Click the button above to download and install a free copy.

you are visitor


Academic department courses & descriptions

Course Name

Course Description

English Department

Freshman English (E1-E2)

Students in freshman English are introduced to many different genres, or types of stories, and they are given the opportunity to explore contemporary teen literature as well as literary classics. Students in this grade begin to learn how to think critically about literature and respond to it. In addition, they focus on learning how to write using the conventions, grammar and usage of the English language. There are many literature-based projects during the ninth grade that focus not only on English but also on history and science.

Sophomore English (E3-E4)

Students in sophomore English continue exploring various genres in literature that they were first introduced to in their freshman year. Their readings focus on more traditional works. Additionally, students in tenth grade English sharpen the skills that will help them to do well on tests such as the SAT and the English Regents, which they will be taking during their junior year. In tenth grade English, students learn how to organize and give presentations, write effective essays, analyze literature and use critical thinking to solve problems.

Junior English (E5-E6)

Students in junior English focus on American Literature as they prepare to take the English Regents in February. (They are also studying American History in their social studies classes during this year.) During this class, students may encounter such interesting and talented writers as Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. In addition, students are making final preparations to take the PSAT and SAT and are continuing to hone their skills for these important tests.

Senior English (E7-E8)

After students pass the English Regents exam, they have many more choices in English classes. Depending on student’s interest last year, students who pass the Regents can take a course in drama, journalism or debate. They can also take and Advanced Placement English course; if they score well on the Advanced Placement exam at the end of the year, they can receive English credit toward college.

Foreign Language Department

All Freshmen/Sophomores who come from junior high school with basic knowledge of the TARGET LANGUAGE, but whose native language is English, must take the placement language tests in order to determine in what level of the TARGET LANGUAGE they should be placed.

General Courses

Designed for students who are learning a Second Language or Foreign Language and come from a monolingual English speaking environment. They are expected to develop the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing in order to prepare for the Regents Examination. At the end of three years of study, these students will be able to understand native speakers at an intermediate level and communicate in reading, writing and verbally in the target language at a basic level. The very best of these students will continue on to the AP Language Course.

Heritage Courses

Designed for students who come from homes where their native language is spoken but they do not read or write it. The objectives of these courses are to develop these domains as well as to improve their verbal communication skills. As students progress in their study of the target language, they will be introduced to basic, intermediate and advance levels of literature. The very best of these students will continue on to the highest levels of the native sequence as well as continue on to the AP Language Course.

Native Courses

Designed for students whose only language spoken at home is their native. These students have the basic foundation of their native language in reading, writing and speaking at an intermediate or advance level. Classes are conducted entirely in the target language. Upon completing the sequence, these students will be able to compare and contrast a variety of literary works in novel, short stories and myths, poetry, drama and even journalism. Those students who complete the sequence successfully may continue into AP Courses.

Advanced Placement Courses

Designed for students who wish to obtain College credit while in High School. These students are selected from among the very best in native classes, according to their overall average throughout the entire sequence. AP courses are the equivalent of third-year college courses in writing, conversation and introduction to literature in the target language. At the conclusion of AP courses, students will be able to narrate, debate, act, write poetry, and compare and contrast different genres in the target language.

Mathematics Department

Integrated Algebra I
(9th Grade)

Integrated Algebra I is the first mathematics course in high school. Algebra provides tools and ways of thinking that are necessary for solving problems in a wide variety of disciplines, such as sciences, business, social sciences, fine arts and technology. This course will assist students in developing skills and processes to be applied using a variety of techniques to successfully solve problems in a variety of settings. The graphing calculator will be used as a routine tool in the study of mathematics and is stressed as a learning and computational aid. This course leads to the Integrated Algebra Regents.

(10th Grade)

Geometry is the second mathematics course in high school. Geometry is the study of shapes, figures and movement in space. The relationships among lines, angles and planes are important tools for studying more complicated figures. Definitions, postulates (an accepted statement of fact) and theorems (statements that have been proven to be true) will be used to prove that geometric ideas are true. Formulas will be used to determine length of lines, midpoints and the movement of shapes from one place to another in a plane. This course leads to the Geometry Regents.

Algebra 2/Trigonometry
(11th Grade)

Algebra 2/Trigonometry is the culminating course of this three-year sequence. You will use the knowledge gained in the previous two courses to understand the meaning of operations and procedures, and how they relate to one another. Using equations and graphs in real-world situations (i.e., depreciation of the value of a car) will be discussed and analyzed using different types of functions. This course leads to the Algebra 2 & Trigonometry Regents.

(12th Grade)

This course is designed for students that will go on to college and will need a more in depth knowledge of mathematics and the graphing calculator. Students will investigate more advanced topics in mathematics using real life situations. The topics covered in this course will give students a chance to sample college level material in preparation for their future college experience.

Science Department

Environmental Science

The purpose of this course is to raise students' awareness about local, national and global environmental issues. Like all other sciences, environmental science is a process of satisfying our curiosity about why things are the way they are and how things happen the way they do. The study of the environment may help answer the following questions:

●  How can a population of iguanas help save the rain forest from destruction?
●  How can recycling aluminum help save fossil fuels and reduce both air and water pollution?
●  How can watering a lawn affect the quality of the water stream?
●  How can exhaust from cars in New York City contribute to the decline of salmon in Canada?

There are many unanswered questions in this course, which is why this course is research driven. The course culminates in a research paper presentation or a research project. This course also helps improve your reading and writing skills as well as vocabulary building.

Living Environment

This is a Regents course. It is designed as a one-year course that culminates in the State Regents examination in June of each academic year. The course has two divisions. The regular class that must be attended five days a week, and the laboratory component in which the students are exposed to scientific experimentation, data collections and data reporting on graphs. The laboratory component meets once a week. Students are required to complete thirty labs in order to qualify for the Regents in June.

Earth Science

Earth Science is a blend of many different sciences, including geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Earth scientists in these different specialties study and model the processes that change our planet. Some of these changes take place in a matter of seconds; others take millions of years to occur.

Physical Setting/Chemistry

This is a Regents class that ends with the presentation of the Regents examination in June of each year. There is a laboratory component attached. The classes meet five times a week and the laboratory portion is designed to be attended multiple days a week depending on the student’s individual schedule. A laboratory portfolio containing forty lab reports is mandatory in the fulfillment of this course and ability to present the Regents examination.

Physical Setting/Physics

This is the third and last Regents class that culminates in the June Regents examination. Forty laboratory reports are required in order to pass the Regents examination. In addition, students are required to have strong mathematical and computational skills.

Advanced Placement Biology

This is a course designed for students who have completed all their Science Regents requirements and received a grade of 85 or better in all science classes. They also need to maintain an overall average of 80. The course is a double-period class that meets ten times per week. It is a strong college preparatory class that ends with an AP examination given in May of each year. The class offering depends on the register.

Forensic Science

This course introduces students to the analysis and interpretation of biological and interpretation of biological evidence in concepts. This class is designed around authentic performance assessments with students working in teams to solve crimes using scientific knowledge and reasoning. It involves all areas of Science with an emphasis in complex reasoning and critical thinking. In addition, students must incorporate the use of technology, communication skills, languages arts, art, family and consumer science, mathematics and social studies. The Forensics class is designed around the idea that in the real world all learning is interrelated and interdependent. Students will be asked to read, research, hypothesize, interview, compute and use deductive reasoning to propose crime solutions. Students who successfully complete the course earn one (1) unit credit of science elective credit. Only seniors are eligible for this course.

Social Studies Department

Global History I

This one term course will trace history from Neolithic times to the Crusades. Global History I will prepare students for the study of history with an introduction to social science methods. Social science methods will provide students with the tools for critical thinking and to analyze primary source documents. Upon the completion of Global History IV, students will take a regents examination with an essay question centered on the examination of primary sources.

Global History II

Global History II, a one-semester course, is a chronological approach to global history from 1200 to 1750 A.D. In this course, some of the major themes students will study include: feudalism, Renaissance, Protestant Reformation exploration and the growth of nation states. Student will learn how events and concepts link different areas of the world.

Global History III

Global History III, a one-semester course, is a chronological approach to global history from 1750 to 1945 A.D. In this course, some of the major themes students will study include: scientific revolution, Enlightenment, revolution, Industrial Revolution, imperialism, nationalism World War I and World War II. Students will learn how events and concepts link different areas of the world.

Global History IV

Global History IV, a one-semester course, is a chronological approach to global history from 1945 to 2000 A.D. In this course, some of the major themes students will study include: The Cold War, Korean War, Chinese Communist Revolution, collapse of European Imperialism, conflict in the Middle East, modern issues and problems facing the world. Upon the completion of Global History IV students will take a regents examination.

American History and Government I

This first semester, of a two-term course in American History, emphasizes the Constitutional principles that are the basis for American life and the application of those principles to American History in the 18th and 19th centuries. Major US Supreme Court decisions are an important part of this curriculum. This curriculum includes an increased emphasis on geographic issues as they relate to American History and our social and political development.
Global History 1, 2, 3, 4
Participation in Government (preferred)

American History and Government II

This second semester of a one-year course is designed to provide students with a culminating survey of major domestic and foreign forces that shaped the nation’s history. Many significant developments changed American life in the 20th Century. Technological advances, the growing involvement of the United States abroad, legal challenges and changing social mores all impacted upon the American scene. Students will study these changes as they prepare to take the required regents examination in American History at the conclusion of this term.
Global History 1, 2, 3, 4
American History and Government I
Participation in Government (preferred)

Participation in Government

This one-semester course in Participation in Government is designed primarily to encourage the development of civic-minded individuals, i.e. those who are capable of analyzing contemporary governmental problems and participating actively in their solutions. The courses focus on five major themes: 1) Philosophical Foundations for Government and the Law; 2) Citizenship; 3) The Electoral Process; 4) Legal Rights and Responsibilities and 5) Public Policy.


Economics is a one-semester introduction to the world of business and finance. Emphasis is given to those areas, which affect students directly: consumer problems, savings and operating a business. In addition, students are made aware of the economic complexities of our time and the efforts by governments to deal with those complexities.
Global History 1, 2, 3, 4
American History 1, 2

Advanced Placement United States History

The AP United States History course might best be described as “traditional plus.” It is a two-semester survey of American History from the age of exploration and discovery to the present. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents and historiography. A short research paper on an American History topic is required.

Advanced Placement World History

In AP World History you will develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts including interactions over time. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. We will use the following AP World History themes throughout the course to identify the broad patterns and processes that explain change and continuity over time.

1. Impact of interaction among and within major societies.
2. Impact of technology, economics and demography on people and the environment.
3. Systems of social structure and gender structure.
4. Cultural, religious and intellectual developments.
5. Changes in functions and structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political identities, including the emergence of the nation state.

Purpose and Organization of Course Activities:
AP World History is the equivalent of a college-level survey course in world history. Like college students, you are expected to read the assigned pages in the textbook as listed in the unit calendars and take notes in the charts and types of graphic organizers provided by the teacher. In designing this course, the College Board aimed to help you gain the higher-order thinking skills you will need to be successful in college.


Norman Thomas HS does not discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, or age in the administration of any
of its employment, educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, recreational, and other school-administered programs.
© 2010 Norman Thomas High School