How Greenbrier’s Academic Program Prepares Your Daughter for her Future
Will my daughter receive a formal education at Greenbrier?
Greenbrier Academy prides itself on providing the perfect balance of therapy and academics to your daughter. While we do utilize the classroom as a therapeutic tool, our robust core academic curriculum rivals that of any traditional boarding school in the country.
Our college preparatory curriculum is largely based on the College and Career Readiness Standards set by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). Our focus on critical thinking skills, an empathetic world-view and a “Grit” mindset in daily lessons prepares students to be passionate, confident and resilient life-long learners.
Our grading scale also follows WVDE standards:
Our Biology course is designed to give students an understanding of how living organisms work and the various processes needed for survival. Biological topics covered include: problem solving/the scientific method and research; genetics; evolution; manipulating genes; cells; bacteria, virus, protist and fungi; anatomy and physiology of animals; anatomy and physiology of plants; taxonomy; ecology; and human impact on the biosphere. Students will come to understand how many of these topics are interrelated.
Students are given an opportunity to explore materials and concepts through reading, lectures, classroom discussion research, debates and projects. Student performance will be evaluated using rubrics for projects and debates, class participation, graded notes, quizzes and tests.
Our Environmental Science course emphasizes the function of the earth’s system. Emphasis is placed on the human interactions with the Earth’s geologic and environmental systems, predictability of a dynamic Earth, origin and evolution of the Earth system and universe, geochemical cycles and energy in the Earth system. This course will also highlight recent events pertaining to the environment.
This course will cover the basics of earth science including an examination of: the composition of our earth, surfaces processes on earth, the atmosphere and oceans, and the dynamic events of earth.
This course will cover the basics of chemistry including an examination of; the states of matter, the properties of matter, history of the atom, the atomic structure and the periodic table, measurement, problem solving in chemistry, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, gas laws, ionic bonding and compounds, water, reaction rates and equilibrium, and acid base reactions.
This course will cover the basics of physics including: an introduction to motion, acceleration and accelerated motion, motion in two dimensions, newtons laws of motion, work and energy, linear momentum and collisions, rotational motion and equilibrium, and gravity and circular motion.
Algebra I is an introduction to the algebraic habits of mind necessary in the high school setting. We will practice habits verbally, graphically, notationally and in writing. The multicultural origins of modern algebra are especially emphasized through videos, hands-on activities, and guided readings.
This course is designed to emphasize the study of properties and applications of common geometric figures in two and three dimensions. Inductive and deductive thinking skills are used in problem-solving situations, and applications to practical problems are often emphasized. We will also be exploring the connections of geometry to both art and history through creative endeavors and research projects.
Algebra II is an exploration of advanced algebraic concepts including functions, polynomials, rational expressions, complex numbers, systems of equations and inequalities, statistics and probability. Algebra II addresses many topics from Algebra I at a more comprehensive level, with various technologies used as appropriate. Writing across the curriculum is stressed, with the expectation that students will explain the relevance of different algebraic concepts in various modern technologies and career paths.
In this course, the unifying themes are functions, graphs, and the use of functions as mathematical models. We practice analytic geometry and advanced algebra extensively in preparation for higher math. Preparation for college entrance exams is a recurring thread, with test-taking practice and vocabulary-building worked into common activities. We use frequent technology activities to practice modeling situations mathematically with modern tools.
Business math is intended as a fourth math for students who may not be ready for high math or who are pursuing a skilled pathway diploma. It reviews the basics and focuses on how math is used by businesses today.
The Ancient History course is a study of World History from the classical period to the mid-1900s. In this course students will explore the major civilizations of the world throughout history. Students will focus on key concepts and people of each culture/civilization, as well as employing critical thinking skills in order to understand and discuss the impact that past peoples have on society today. Greenbrier Academy students will also apply core aspirations when interpreting the characteristics of a civilization or historic figure.
The Modern History course is a study of World History from the mid-1900s to present day events. In this course we will explore the major civilizations of our modern world. Students will focus on key concepts, events and people of each culture/civilization as well as employing critical thinking skills in order to understand and discuss the impact that modern and current people/events have on society today. The critical thinking skills will be fostered through using Greenbrier Academy’s aspirations and the concept of Grit to aid students in seeing a more complete picture of world events/people while also respecting the differences and commonalities between us as a human race.
CIVICS & ECONOMICS
The Civics and Economics course is a study of government, history and economic concepts; emphasizing how they apply to our everyday lives. Students will use historic as well as current events to better understand government laws and structure, as well as gain general knowledge of economics and its importance. The goal of the course is that students become more versed in the complexity of government, show grit to become better informed citizens and can apply economic concepts in their lives as they focus congruently with aspirational values such as vision, courage, honor, trust, and respect.
U.S. HISTORY to 1990
The US History to 1900 course is a study of early North American civilizations to the 1900s. In this course we will discuss the pre-colonial people of North America and the impact that colonization had on our nation. Students will examine the impact and results of major events such as the Revolutionary War, western expansion and the American Civil War among other crucial events. Greenbrier Academy students will hone their critical thinking and discussion skills as part of the course by developing and supporting opinions on the major events discussed within the course and respecting the differing opinions of others as they work towards aspirational goals and apply the concept of Grit into their studies and everyday lives.
English One and Two lay the foundation for a successful high school career in reading and writing acquisition. Students will learn how to read and analyze a variety of literary mediums by exploring the characteristics of different forms and techniques authors use to achieve their intended purpose. Students will apply their understanding of grammar and vocabulary with frequent lessons, and construct response-style writing pieces weekly. Students will also build upon their understanding of writing as a process through exploring different essay types, conducting appropriate research, and completing guided reading questions regularly. Students will learn how to prepare, engage and utilize their strengths to remain avid, life-long learners in an environment that is inviting, relational and encourages students to strive for success.
Students will read and analyze a variety of American authors, ranging from Colonial to Contemporary time periods, by exploring the plethora of characteristics as defined within the specified time period. Students will apply their understanding of grammar and vocabulary with frequent lessons and construct response-style writing pieces weekly. Students will continue to build upon their understanding of writing as a process through exploring different essay types, conducting appropriate research, using proper MLA citation and completing analysis questions regularly. Students will learn how to prepare, engage and utilize their strengths to remain avid, life-long learners in an environment that is inviting, relational and intellectually stimulating.
Students will read and analyze from a variety of British authors, ranging from Anglo-Saxon to the Post-Modern time periods, by exploring a plethora of characteristics as defined within the specified time period. Students will apply their understanding of grammar and vocabulary with frequent lessons, and construct response-style writing pieces weekly. Students will hone their understanding of writing as a process through exploring different essay types, (specifically, the research essay) conducting appropriate research, using proper MLA citation, and completing analysis questions regularly. Students will learn how to prepare, engage, and utilize their strengths to remain avid, life- long learners in an environment that is inviting, relational and intellectually stimulating.
Creative writing is an English elective that immerses students in the writing cycle, introduces them to the art of writing creatively and the world of publishing. Students will write and revise pieces in multiple genres including narrative essays, short stories, poetry, and plays. Students will read different genres from a number of different mediums to expand their writing style and voice. The central focus of the class will be on various processes for creating, using mentor texts as inspiration and models, and revision from providing and listening to feedback. Most important, however, students will be learning to engage in a supportive classroom environment that empowers individual curiosity, and artistic risk taking.
During this term, Spanish 1 students are challenged to begin to develop their abilities to speak, read, write and listen to the Spanish language. They will understand how to introduce themselves in a culturally appropriate way. Students will ask and answer questions about likes and dislikes using food and drink Spanish vocabulary. They will also research a motivational Hispanic woman while exploring the book, GRIT.
During this term, Spanish II students review basic Spanish vocabulary and structures in order to strengthen self-expression and basic communication skills in functional contexts. There is continued emphasis on speaking proficiency while reading a Spanish TPRS book by Magaly Rodrigueza. Students will be able to understand and answer questions from the book and describe their favorite character from the story they read. Lastly, Students will explore a humanitarian crisis in a Spanish-speaking country and come up with possible alleviations.
SPANISH 3 & 4
During this term, Spanish 3/4 students will read aloud a Spanish TPRS book (Mi Propio Auto) by Blaine Ray in class together. They will ask and answer comprehension questions about characters or events of the story entirely in Spanish. During each class, they answer a journal question with 3-5 complete sentences in Spanish. Every student participates in a forty-minute Zoom meeting with the teacher (currently living in Mexico) to deliberately use Spanish to communicate grammar & cultural learning and to create dialogue based on the theme: healthy mind, body, and spirit. They debate in Spanish the topic of vegetarianism and create a menu in Spanish with foods that they would like to serve in their own restaurant. Other specific activities to acquiring the Spanish language include: read food labels & write recipes in Spanish; compare food pyramids from around the world; and complete translations about authentic traditional dishes using new vocabulary.
Study Skills is designed both as an academic support class as well as a skill-building course. This class will support the student with their learning and challenge them in areas that they may need more support academically. All lessons and activities will be personalized to the student based on their individual needs and abilities. Focus topics of the course include: Goal Setting, Physiological and Psychological Needs, Time Management, Note and Test Taking Skills, Memory Strategies, Textbook Reading, and Plagiarism. Throughout the course students will learn how to prepare, engage, and discover the tools needed to become avid, lifelong learners.
COLLEGE & CAREER READINESS
College and Career Readiness is designed to provide college-bound students the opportunity to expand their options after they leave Greenbrier. This course is structured to provide students with vital time to research perspective schools, learn how to navigate the Common App, and learn how to apply for student aid. In addition to this, the curriculum is designed to improve competence in areas on standardized college entrance examinations such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Students will also explore various careers, prepare resumes, and research scholarship programs.
ACADEMIC LEARNING LAB (ALL)
ALL is designed to provide structured assistance for students that are struggling with their academic workload. Students will have the opportunity to continue working on assignments for other courses during this time with the assistance of a learning specialist. ALL students may also use this time to practice mindfulness and grow their study skills.
Theater is an elective class in which students will explore the theatrical world, from the pioneers of the field to current people that carry on the practice. Students will study classics such as the Greek/Roman playwrights and Shakespeare, as well as modern playwrights and composers. Through the course students will: strive to analyze the works studied using the archetypes and aspirations highlighted at Greenbrier Academy along with recognizing and applying grit, gain confidence and public speaking skills through performing, learn the positions and technical skills that are involved in theater, as well as refining language skills through a creative outlet.
This course emphasizes the importance of knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to personal health and wellness. Students will be exposed to a broad range of issues and information relating to numerous aspects of health; which include the physical, social and mental elements and how they all work together to create personal wellbeing.