Overview of Curricular Offerings for High School Students
The Polytech is unique opportunity for students in grades 10-12 to participate in customized instruction, community-college-based workforce education classes, and comprehensive advising and support. Polytech graduates can earn a high school diploma, college credits, industry certificate, and work experience all at the same time, allowing for a seamless transition to college, career, and adulthood.
Below is an overview of high school level courses offered at The Polytech campus. Additional workforce education and college-level courses are available for students who are approved to attend courses at community college campuses.
English 11 – Students are offered the opportunity to read and analyze literature by American authors. Novels, plays, short stories, and poems that reflect cultural changes over a broad span of US history are introduced. Students explore the biographies of the authors they are reading and seek to identify author bias in literature.
English 12 – Students are challenged to engage in a detailed analysis of British literature, continuing to research author backgrounds and identify bias. In addition, students expand their research and technical writing skills, culminating with a final project that includes both a paper and verbal presentation.
Technical Writing – A course designed for students who need to strengthen writing skills to prepare for college-level work. This course emphasizes writing non-fiction and compositions designed to inform, document processes, and record observed results which are so critical to many professions within the allied health, engineering, and information technological sectors.
English 9 – A make-up course for students who enter The Polytech with English course deficits, English 9 provides a balance of introductory language arts strategies designed to help students adjust to high school rigors. Writing requirements focus on the 5-paragraph essays, grammar, and citing sources. Reading requirements include interpreting literature, vocabulary, and strategies to improve comprehension.
English 10 – Another make-up course option for students who need earlier English courses to fulfill graduation requirements. English 10 continues to expose students to literature from a variety of authors worldwide, and introduces study of a play. Strategies to identify bias, verify facts, and cite sources help students develop the skills necessary to analyze text and non-fiction texts and become critical thinkers.
Applied Math – Students practice applying basic math functions to real world scenarios, often tied to careers within the allied health, engineering, and informational technological sectors.
Pre-Algebra – A student’s understanding of factions, percentages, propoertions and probability are sharpened through practice of single and multi-step programs designed to provide a foundation for future algebraic coursework.
Algebra 1 – Students learn algebraic concepts necessary to solve increasingly complex problems that include variables, linear equation, exponents, quadratic formula, symbol sense, algebraic manipulations and conceptual applications.
Geometry – Geometry focuses on 2D and 3D scenarios, introducing formulas and geometric necessary to calculate area, volume, perimeter, surface area, and many other functions related to lines, figures, and positioning within a coordinate graph.
Algebra 2/Trigonometry – Students expand knowledge of algebraic concepts and problem-solving strategies with an introduction to trigonometry, probability, and discrete mathematics. Prerequisite: Algebra 2. Geometry strongly recommended.
Pre-Calculus – Review of advanced algebraic and geometry concepts as well as an introduction to functions necessary for Calculus. Prerequisite: Algebra 2.
Calculus – Students develop an understanding of the concepts and applications of calculus, including derivatives, integrals, inverse and trigonometric functions, exponentials, and logarithms.
Financial Literacy – Students focus on the mathematics of real-world business operations and personal finance, connecting life and career goals with strategies to interpret financial information.
Additional math credits are available through community college courses related to specific pathways.
Earth Science – Earth Science builds an introductory understanding of the structures of the planet Earth and its place within the solar system. Processes affecting the earth, including rocks and minerals, earthquakes, fossils, and the geological history of Puget Sound are included.
Physical Science – Students are introduced to the fundamentals of physics and chemistry, including basic principles of force, motion, energy, light, sound, and magnetism.
Biology – Students study the phsycal structures and functions of plants, animals, and humans. They explore ell structure, the processes of mitosis and meiosis, plant anatomy, human anatomy, genetics, and the theory of evolution.
Chemistry (non-lab) – Students study elements and the molecular composition of matter, applying mathematical skills to solving chemical equations. Prerequisite: Algebra 1. Algebra 2 recommended.
Physics – Students examine force and its effects, light and sound, electricity and magnetism, energy, the solar system, and gravity, using mathematical skills to calculate the impact of outside catalysts in these areas. Prerequisite: Algebra 1. Algebra 2 strongly recommended.
Medical Terminology – This course focuses on the vocabulary necessary to communicate in a medical facility and basic functions of maintaining a sterile environment. Students may follow this course with additional studies at the college level in the allied health pathway.
Additional science credits are available through community college courses related to specific pathways.
US History – Students examine key events in our nation’s history, analyzing the circumstances leading up to each event and the impact on our current policies and relationships.
World History – Students explore world events and the cultures of other nations. Depending on the term, students may study ancient cultures, Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
American Government – Students learn the foundations of the U.S. government, fundamentals of citizenship, and American relationships/responsibilities to the rest of the world.
Current Events and Foreign Policy – Students examine current events and analyze factors contributing to the situation as well as study our relationships with other nations and the actions our government is taking to strengthen or minimize these relationships.
Geography and World Cultures – Students explore how geographic features, human relationships, political and social structures, economics, science, and the arts have developed and influenced life in countries around the world.
Economics – Students gain an introduction to key economic principles and fundamental theories in economics both within the United States and in other nations.
Washington State History – Students learn about landforms, native history, expansion, government and economy within the state of Washington.
Spanish 1 – Spanish 1 is an introductory foreign language course designed to help students build a foundation of basic vocabulary, cultural differences, and beginning grammar and structure of the Spanish language.
Spanish 2 – Spanish 2 builds upon the Spanish 1 foundation by expanding communication skills, vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension and developing written and spoken expression. Prerequisite: Spanish 1.
Spanish 3 – Spanish 3 emphasizes reading and written expression skills while continuing to build vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension and spoken expression. Prerequisite: Spanish 2.
Art History – This survey course provides an overview of key art forms developed and expanded throughout history by many different cultures.
Film Studies – Students learn important technological and aesthetic structures used to communicate through film, and examine key international and US movies that have earned a place in our history.
Music Appreciation – Students are introduced to the history, theory, and genres of music over several centuries of time.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH
Health – Students learn the value of nutrition, exercise, sleep and other factors that contribute to maintaining a healthy physical condition.
Nutrition – Nutrition builds upon the fundamentals introduced within the Health class by focusing on vitamins, minerals, calories, and how food preparation impacts nutrition.
College and Career Readiness – Mandatory for all The Polytech students, this course introduces students to the expectations of attending a college campus and teaches the soft skills necessary to succeed in college and the workplace, such as appropriate communication, the ability to accept criticism, punctuality and self-advocacy.
Culinary Arts – Students learn kitchen tricks and prepare healthy recipes while cooking in their own kitchens in real time with our chef instructor, who provides instant feedback. At the end of each class, students have a meal to enjoy with their family.
Financial Basics – This course teaches the basics of money and money management while also helping students to set up accounts and online banking so that they are ready to shop and pay bills after employment.
Pre-Driving – The Polytech preps students for the WA State written driving test, and also teaches the basics of driving on our commercial driving simulator. Students can gain experience driving in the city and country in all kinds of traffic and weather conditions, boosting confidence and providing evidence that they are ready to practice driving in a car.
Food Worker Card – This mini-course shares all the information students need to know to pass the state exam and get their WA Food Worker Card. The Polytech is set up to have students test and print their official card without any need for a credit card, so they are employable in a restaurant, child care center, nursing home, or any other venue requiring this credential.
Independent Living – The Polytech breaks down the complicated experience of living on your own into a series of lessons and challenges for students to complete, including tasks such as how to create menus, shop, and prepare several healthy meals that the student enjoys, laundry, accessing transportation, and online banking. Our staff arrange a series of overnight experiences and build up to stays longer than a week to help students recognize whether or not they are ready to live on their own before committing to a lease.
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
The Polytech offers access to a wide variety of career and technical education courses offered at various community colleges. Current pathways include Healthcare, Engineering, Education, Manufacturing, and Information Technology Systems. Students who successfully complete the College and Career Readiness course are eligible to take community college courses with one-on-one advising, case management, and tutoring support from The Polytech staff.