Salesian believes that understanding the past is imperative to
our ability to live in the present and shape a more stable future.
We strive to offer a comprehensive window into the past through
connecting historically relevant issues with contemporary events
while exploring our shared and individual experiences in a student
based learning environment. Salesian has the pleasure and privilege
of instructing a racially, ethnically, ideologically, and intellectually
diverse collection of students, thus providing a wealth of perspectives
for students to learn from. We hope their experience at Salesian will
encourage them to think more critically of the world around them
and encourage them to build a more just society.
Salesian has partnered with Challenge Success, a non-profit affiliated with the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, which provides schools and families with proven strategies that promote well-being and engagement with learning.
Beginning in Fall 2021, Salesian College Preparatory in Richmond, California, has partnered with Challenge Success, providing rich growth from first contact. Our administration formed an insightful team of students, teachers, parents, and staff who have been examining what has been successful and what can still be adjusted at Salesian, with clear and personalized guidance from the Challenge Success leaders. For instance, students, faculty, staff, and administrators participated in surveys in September that focused on the well being and social-emotional health of everyone on campus. Analyzed by the Challenge Success team with our administrative team, the transparent results have opened up new, powerful discussions guiding all of Salesian’s work for the remaining school year.
When asked what has been a significant takeaway from Salesian’s encounters with Challenge Success, a Salesian student team member immediately responded with Challenge Success’s focus on inclusivity. The program is helping all members of the Salesian community to consider all different types of students and their individual needs, successes, and challenges. Specifically, we have been identifying and learning about the different stresses on students and their root causes. Challenge Success is helping us navigate our focus on the root causes that the school can address, especially in our self-identified areas of student workload, school schedules, and student time management.
All administrators, teachers, and staff have reviewed the student data about their school experience, and were delighted to see that the first words that students offered to describe Salesian were “fun,” “welcoming and caring,” and “diverse,” characteristics that the adults at the school prioritize as well. In response to the student concerns over workload, assessments, and time management, the teachers have begun collaboratively using Challenge Success prompts to identify the amount and types of homework that they assign. Our final initiative in Fall 2021 invited students to participate in the “I Wish” campaign in our Faith Family meetings, during which students wrote sentences about what they wished their teachers and/or their parents knew about their high school experience. In Spring 2022, Salesian looks forward to learning more about meaningful homework and reflecting on the school’s modified final assessment schedule to see how successful students felt after those initial changes.
World History is a two-semester course that traces the major historical events of the world from the Renaissance to the present. This comprehensive study of our global environment will investigate social, cultural, economic and political systems as they existed and affected the course of world history. Special emphasis is placed on the development of geography, research, and other basic study skills. Role-plays, simulations, historical videos, and cooperative learning techniques will be integrated into the daily classroom routine.
World History Honors ia a two-semester course that traces the major historical events of the world from the Renaissance to the present. This comprehensive study of our global environment will investigate social, cultural, economic, and political systems as they existed and affected the course of world history. The World History Honors course will place a special emphasis on critical reading and writing skills with an introduction to Document Based Questions. Additionally, the refinement of geography, research and other basic study skills will be included. This course will prepare students for the AP U.S. History course in 11th grade in terms of essay writing, study skills, and critical analysis. Role-plays, simulations, debates, interactive projects, Google Suites, historical videos, and cooperative learning techniques will be integrated into the daily classroom routine.
Prerequisite: Placement in course based on GPA and High School Placement Test (HSPT) score.
United States History is a topical approach to the study of this country's past. Attentive to the California Framework for Social Science, this course begins with a review of U.S. history before the Civil War in the first quarter, while the emphasis for the rest of the year focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries. This course examines the major turning points in American history through a multicultural perspective of the various social, political and economic factors, as well as individual personalities that influenced the course of our history.
AP United States History concentrates on factual knowledge, analysis, and interpretation of primary and secondary sources, and the development of an informed opinion through the use of the persuasive essay. With an emphasis on critical reasoning, the students research American history and gain proficiency in advanced testing skills as they prepare for the AP exam in the spring.
Prerequisites: Students should have: 1) B or better in all English courses; 2) A- or better in both semesters of World History; 3) minimum overall GPA of 3.75 or better; and 4) recommendations from their teachers. Teacher recommendations will be obtained by the department chair.
The U.S. Government course is designed to bridge the gap between the basic concepts of American government and the daily events that redefine the United States' political structure. The general structure of the U.S. Constitution will be outlined and reviewed with a special focus on citizen rights and responsibilities. Students will also study current events to examine how U.S. political institutions weather the challenges of the 21st century.
The U.S. Government Honors course will examine the basic theories of government: the Constitution and the organization, powers, and principal processes of the congress, presidency, bureaucracy, media, and the federal courts as they function in the political system. Current event discussions will focus on an up-to-date examination of our American political institutions. U.S. Government Honors will move at an accelerated pace and focus on the development of persuasive essay writing skills, as well as the application of research skills in two projects during the course of the semester.
Prerequisites: Students should have: 1) B or better in United States History or B- or better in AP United States History; 2) a minimum overall GPA of 3.75 or better; and 3) recommendations from their teachers. Teacher recommendations will be obtained by the department chair.
The Economics course is designed to deepen the student's understanding of the economic problems and institutions of the nation and the world. This course will focus on the practical application of economic theory to personal economic choices, as well as broader economic policy. Economics will focus on an introduction to basic microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economic concepts.
Economics Honors focuses on basic economic theory through an exploration of microeconomic, macroeconomic and international economic concepts. Honors Economics will move at an accelerated pace with more in-depth analysis of economic theory and policy directives.
Prerequisites: Students should have: 1) B or better in US History or B- or better in AP US History; 2) a minimum overall GPA of 3.75 or better; and 3) recommendations from their teachers. Teacher recommendations will be obtained by the department chair.
The Psychology course introduces students to psychology with a focus on the scientific study of human development, learning, motivation, and personality. Students develop basic concepts of psychology and a historical perspective on psychology as the study of individual behavior. Students will have opportunities to explore implications for everyday life of a scientific perspective on human behavior. The student will also develop an awareness of career opportunities in psychology.
Grades: 11 & 12
Credit: 10 units
The History through Film course is designed to enrich the study of World and U.S. History through the medium of film. Students will experience American films and select foreign films to provide different perspectives of history. Students will engage in class discussions, collaborative group work, write response papers incorporating the films and the study of associated events, and develop research papers. These activities will provide them with the opportunity to improve their critical thinking and writing skills.