Course Sign-up: Class of 2023
COURSE SIGN-UPS ARE NOW COMPLETE
Required Courses for All Freshmen - Form Due April 10
Below is the sign-up form for Class of 2023 math, language and arts courses during Freshman year. Please complete and submit this form by Wednesday, April 10.
For your convenience, the required course list for the Freshman program at Urban School can be found at the bottom of this page. Information about math and language placement is at right. Course descriptions can be found by visiting the Urban Curriculum pages.
In order to better understand Urban's music program, please watch this video put together by Academic Dean Geoff Ruth and Performing Arts Department Chair Scott Foster. Students wishing to join the Lab Jazz band, the Chamber Orchestra or Urban Singers chorus MUST choose the associated intro course as their art elective class, which will take place in the fall term. In subsequent years, students may take the art of their choice.
Urban has three terms of 12 weeks each (fall, winter, spring) and students take four classes per term, plus optional music performance during three E periods throughout the entire year. If a student does not choose a performance music program, the E/activity periods are faculty-monitored study halls, or a combination of co-curricular activities, such as a fitness course, Yearbook, dance, mindfulness/meditation, etc. Participation on athletic teams is after school, five days a week, including some holidays.
Course descriptions can be found by visiting the Urban Curriculum pages.
English (two terms)
- English 1A – Journeys
- English 1B – Destination-The Middle East
History (two terms)
- Word History A
- World History B
Science (two terms)
- Fundamentals of Science 1A
- Fundamentals of Science 1B
Identity & Ethnic Studies / 9th Grade Health (each 6 weeks / 1/2 term)
Math (two terms) - Students who have not take Algebra 1 in 8th grade or who need an additional foundation of algebra and preliminary geometry should select Math 1. If you are planning to take the math placement test on Saturday, April 27, you may choose Math 2 on form below, although the Urban Math Department will make the final determination as to which class is most suitable. Please see sidebar at right for more information on math placement.
World Language (two terms) - Choose from Chinese, French or Spanish on form below, including which level course you believe is appropriate (placement test must be taken on April 27 for Level 2 and above). Please see sidebar at right for more information on language placement.
Art Elective (one term) - You will take one art elective during Freshman year. You can see descriptions of these courses on our Curriculum pages here. Please note whether you will participate in music performance, or rank your first, second and third choices of the following classes on form below:
- Intro to Chamber Orchestra - required if a student wishes to join the Chamber Orchestra (after Freshman year, students may then take other arts electives). For details, see this video about the music program.
- Intro to Urban Singers - required if a student wishes to join Urban Singers (after Freshman year, students may then take other arts electives), For details, see this video about the music program.
- Intro to Jazz Band - required if a student wishes to join the jazz band (after Freshman year, students may then take other arts electives). For details, see this video about the music program.
Other arts electives for Freshmen include:
- Acting 1
- Circus Techniques
- Music Theory 1
- 20th Century American Popular Music
- Drawing/Mixed Media
- Video Production
April 27 Testing Date
All students attending Urban School are required to complete three years of math for graduation. Ninth graders are placed into either Math 1 or Math 2, based on the 8th grade math teacher recommendation, grades, test scores and Urban's placement test.
If you would like to start in Math 1, you do not need to take a placement test. Math 1 is for students who either have not taken Algebra 1 in middle school or who prefer additional foundational work in algebra and preliminary geometry. Please know that at Urban, it is possible to take Calculus as a Senior even if a student starts in Math 1, as long as you are a successful math student.
If you would like to be considered for placement in Math 2, you will need to take a short placement test. The test is based on what we expect students to know at the end of Math 1. The topics are basic algebraic manipulations, factoring and the distributive law, solving linear equations, scientific notation, graphing and tables of linear and non-linear functions, slope and intercepts, and laws of exponents. What we look for is not just whether students have seen these concepts before, but whether students have a strong, deep and comfortable understanding of them. That is why the problems they will need to solve may be challenging. We realize students may have forgotten some things over the year, which is why they will also have a conversation with a math teacher. This will help us get a clear sense of what their level should be.
The placement test consists of a 45-60 minute test. If your placement results are ambiguous, a math teacher may speak with you to get a better sense of your mathematical thinking. Please make sure to bring a pencil, graph paper and a calculator.
All students attending Urban School are required to complete three years of the same language for graduation.
Students Starting a New Language:
If you have never taken Chinese, French or Spanish before coming to Urban, you will automatically be placed in Level 1 of your preferred language. Or if you have had a language but wish to try a new one, you will be placed in Level 1.
Students With Some Language Experience:
If you have already studied some Chinese, French or Spanish and think that beginning at Level 2 might be more appropriate, you will need to take a placement exam. The skills tested on the French, Spanish and Chinese exams are outlined below. Please review carefully to ensure you meet or exceed the requirements for Level 2. Some students still place in Level 1 after testing, even if they've had several years of language class.
FRENCH AND SPANISH
In order to qualify for Level 2 French or Spanish, you should be able to demonstrate the following skills confidently, comfortably and with efficient production of present tense verbs and quick comprehension of simple questions.
- Use memorized material from learned topics and everyday expressions.
- Communicate basic information in present tense.
- Pronounce vowels and consonants accurately.
- Comprehend everyday words and expressions in present tense.
- Infer correct meaning from learned short sentences.
- Comprehend everyday instructional messages.
- Comprehend basic information.
- Correctly spell familiar words and expressions.
- Write lists and simple sentences with correct agreement in present tense.
In order to qualify for Level 2 Chinese, you should be able to demonstrate the following skills producing accurate tones and pronunciation, as well as producing and comprehending elementary grammatical structures such as placement of time words and prepositional phrases, and complement of degree (how an action is performed).
- Use memorized material from learned topics and everyday expressions
- Communicate basic information
- Pronunciation and tones are accurate
- Comprehend everyday words and expressions
- Correctly comprehend learned short sentences
- Comprehend dialogs and short narratives
- Comprehend basic information
- Comprehend elementary grammatical structures
- Accurately writes learned characters
- Write sentences with correct grammar and word order