BHS Universal 9th Grade

Universal 9th Grade Hives

All incoming ninth grade students are assigned to one of six or seven houses, or hives.  These hives are composed of approximately 120 students who share 4 teachers in their core subject areas: Math 1 (or Advanced Math 1), Physics 1, English, and Ethnic Studies/Social Living.   Students choose their remaining two classes out of the elective options presented below. At the end of ninth grade, students have the opportunity to rank one of the five learning communities at Berkeley High School for their 10th-12th grade education.

Freshman Hive Courses:

Students take the following four courses with approximately 120 students in their Hive:

International Mathematics Progression

Math 1 (P)

This course covers strands from algebra, geometry, and statistics to emphasize the interconnected nature of mathematics. Specific topics include a deeper understanding of algebraic manipulation, functions (linear, quadratic, and exponential), applying linear models to data, using transformational geometry to establish criteria for congruence, coordinate geometry, and an introduction to matrices and vectors. In addition, students will be expected to show proficiency in the Common Core standards for mathematical practice, such as modeling with mathematics, attending to precision, and persevering in problem-solving. This is the first year in the Math 1, Math 2, Math 3 sequence. This sequence prepares students for higher-level math courses such as AP Calculus AB, AP Statistics, and IB SL Math. UC/CSU ©

Advanced Math 1 (P)

This is an accelerated, fast-paced course that rigorously covers all of the material in Math 1 and part of Math 2, with additional topics, challenging proofs, and open-ended problems. Students will also cover indirect and direct proofs of both algebraic and geometric topics. Students will be expected to explain the reasoning behind their solutions for open-ended questions using formal, academic language. In addition, students will demonstrate deep application of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, such as reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, constructing viable arguments, and critiquing the reasoning of others. The time commitment for this course is most similar to that of an AP course. A graphing calculator is required. This sequence prepares students for higher-level math courses such as Advanced Math 2, Advanced Math 3,  AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, and IB-HL Math. UC/CSU Honors credit is NOT available for this course. Prerequisite: placement in advanced courses is based on Advanced Math 1 Placement Test score. UC/CSU(c)

Physics 1 (P)

Physics 9 is a year-long, college preparatory, algebra-based laboratory course that introduces the fundamental concepts and laws of physics. This course is designed to help students construct an understanding of both physics concepts and the mathematical foundations of the physical world. Students explore these concepts using laboratory experiences to strengthen problem-solving skills and learn basic experimental techniques. This inquiry driven program is tightly aligned with the 9th grade Common Core Math 1 course, reinforcing the math concepts covered. Students will study physics principles through observing, analyzing and interpreting data, and reporting experimental outcomes, including the identification of inconsistent results and sources of error. The course surveys the traditional topics of physics, with emphasis on mechanics, wave phenomena, electricity, magnetism, and energy.UC/CSU(d-lab science credit)

English 1 (P)

Students pursue the year’s essential questions through extensive reading, writing, research, and discussion.  In addition, they examine important issues in cultures at home and across the globe through a variety of genres–poems, plays, short stories, novels, nonfiction, and multimedia texts. Students will be expected to write in a variety of modes–narrative, descriptive, expository, analytical, and argumentative.  This class invites students to explore their own identity, while learning how to identify with others, and to hear and be heard in a world of cultural and ideological differences. UC/CSU (b)

Freshman Seminar (P) Humanities: History

This course is divided into two semesters.

Semester 1: Ethnic Studies

The semester begins with an examination of identity in which students delve deeper into their own personal culture and heritage. Who am I? Where do I come from? How do I fit into the world around me? Next, they broaden their studies to learn about the experiences and perspectives of people within and beyond the United States.  Students will study race, migration, and immigration and make personal connections while investigating the history of current political and global dynamics.

Semester 2: Social Living

Second semester, we focus on issues directly facing youth today: healthy decision making, media literacy, substance awareness, nutrition,  sexuality, and gender identity.  The semester’s work is grounded in academic case studies that look at the evolution of these issues over time.  The semester culminates with an evidence based research project on a current social issue.

Both semesters teach the fundamental skills of critical thinking, listening, speaking, reading, and writing along with historical research and investigation, source evaluation, and evidence based analysis, laying the groundwork for future social science coursework.  UC/CSU  (a)

Electives Exclusively for Ninth Graders:

LEAP (Learn, Engage, Accelerate, Persist) (P)

LEAP is a 9th grade only elective class wherein students are supported in their academic, social, and emotional development as they transition to high school. It combines direct academic support and acceleration with a robust college and career readiness curriculum called Get Focused, Stay Focused (GFSF).  In partnership with Berkeley Community College, all LEAP teachers are trained in the GFSF content which is a comprehensive guidance program centered around a student’s interests and life goals, a 10-year plan, and college and career readiness pathways. LEAP instructors also teach one of the core academic classes in the Hive, thereby increasing the personalization available to LEAP students.UC/CSU (g)

9th Grade Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a four year academic elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success. During the 9th and 10th grade years AVID students will receive instruction through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum provided by AVID Center. Students will participate in tutor facilitated study groups, motivational activities and academic survival skills.  The 9th and 10th grade AVID course emphasizes rhetorical reading, analytical writing, collaborative discussion strategies, preparation for college entrance and placement exams, college study skills, test taking strategies, note-taking and research. The AVID 9th and 10th grade AVID curriculum also focuses on college and career awareness through work in class, guest speakers and field trips to colleges.

Other common Elective Options for 9th Graders

In their freshman year, students typically take two electives from the list below.

Course Catalogs with detailed descriptions of classes and requirements for 18-19 will be available in February of 2018.

Once you fulfill the requirements for World Language, Arts, and PE, all additional classes count towards fulfilling your BHS electives requirements.

Earlier Documents Pertaining to the BHS School Redesign Process

Archival Info on School Redesign/U9
Principal’s Design Update from September 13th, 2016
Berkeleyside article on the Redesign
Video stream of the special study session with the BUSD Board of Education
Principal’s April 20, 2016 Email Regarding the Re-Design
Principal’s October 10, 2015 Email Regarding the Re-Design
Summary of Research about Successful High Schools
Design Team Board Comments
List of the Design Team Members
Glossary of Terms
Parent Workshop Presentation
Parent Forum FAQ and Glossary of Terms
Glosario y Preguntas Documento
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