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The Urban School
of San Francisco
1563 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 626 2919

2017-18 Senior Spring Options & Independent Studies 

California Studies (Senior Spring) is an intense course that focuses on a single issue that affects the state of California in economic, environmental, political and daily ways. The class meets during A and D periods throughout the term, spending two weeks away from campus in late May. In previous years, California studies has focused on forestry, transportation and agriculture; this year, the course will focus on water. Most of us know little about our water supply beyond what we see fall between the tap and the drain. Where does the water in San Francisco come from? This class will trace San Francisco’s water supply back to its source through indoor pipes, city streets, reservoirs, treatment facilities, tunnels, pipelines and along rivers to the snowpack. We will bike, swim, raft and backpack along these various water systems in our quest to understand the flow. We will attempt to comprehend the immense political and economic complexities involved in water use and distribution in the state of California. (Seniors Only) (Meets during two class periods)(1 credit)

Advanced Musical Ensemble (Senior Spring Seminar) provides an opportunity for senior musicians to build, rehearse and perform with a small group in any musical style. Seniors may draw from the student body to fill out their group's personnel. The bands will work closely with the instructor, but group leaders will also be expected to choose their ensemble's personnel and repertoire as well as run their own rehearsals. The class will culminate in a showcase performance featuring all student groups. (Seniors Only) (1/2 Credit)

Art as a Daily Practice  (Senior Spring Seminar) will combine hands-on art projects with a number of field trips to arts organizations and artist's studios. We will be looking at ways that artists practice art every day, considering both fine and applied arts, conventional exhibition spaces and alternative spaces, and various careers. Each student will choose a focus for their own art making and commit to a daily practice - making something every day. This could translate into any number of mediums, working with collage, paint, sculpture photo, or something more conceptual, such as a performance art piece, creating scores for events, games, a mail art project, a sewing project or an installation. The assignments are open-ended and there will be ample independent studio time.  Student work will be exhibited in May. (Seniors Only) (1/2 credit)

One Act Festival (Senior Spring) is an advanced theater seminar for those Seniors interested in writing, directing, producing, designing and/or acting in original one act plays to be performed for the public. Participants concentrating on writing will develop the original plays over the winter by working with a playwright consultant, meeting deadlines, revising drafts and, finally, producing a rehearsal-ready script by March. Expectations of participants include attending weekly production meetings and a series of workshops on directing techniques, as well as organizing and directing their own rehearsals. The Festival culminates in public performances in May. The number of participants will be limited. Seniors only. (Seniors Only)  (1/2 credit)
Research and Action Project (RAP) (Senior Spring Seminar) allows Seniors to conduct deep research in an area of interest and then use their understanding in an independent action project, working with community members who are engaged in similar endeavors. Through specific assignments and scaffolding, students create a proposal around an abiding interest and delve into academic research in order to complete realistic and attainable projects. The RAP project culminates in a written and oral presentation for peers, faculty and community members outside Urban who are engaged in the area of focus. The RAP project has both a research and a community engagement focus. RAP projects require the approval of the 11th/12th Grade Dean. (Seniors Only) (1/2 credit)


The Urban School curriculum provides an exceptionally strong foundation in college preparatory subjects. Many of our classes have distinctive features that set them apart as particularly challenging and comparable to college level work. These classes, designated as UAS (Urban Advanced Studies), are developed by the Urban faculty and comprise the school's most rigorous coursework. UAS classes are offered in every subject area and most are recognized by colleges (including the University of California) as honors level courses. Many Urban students choose to take Advanced Placement subject exams after taking these courses.

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