IB students take honors-level courses during 9th and 10th grade in preparation for the rigor of the IB program; this period is known as the IB Prep Academy. In 11th grade, students begin the IB Diploma Program. In addition to their regular courses, all students must complete Health and Physical Education to graduate from TUHSD.
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IB Prep Academy Courses — Grades 9 & 10
The course listed below are typically complete during the first two years of high school.
Honors Freshman English – 1 Year
This course is designed to challenge academically those students who are able to work beyond the curriculum of regular Freshman English. This course includes a study of advanced grammar, basic composition, and a survey of world literature. Honors Sophomore English – 1 Year In addition to refining students' skills in composition, oral expression and literary analysis, this yearlong course will also explore such accelerated activities as debate, symposium, oral interpretation, techniques of persuasion, and application of mythology. Composition work will consist of advanced research with emphasis on various types of expository and creative writing.
Honors Geometry – 1 Year
This course introduces the student to the deductive method of proof with the use of points, lines, and planes. Solid geometry is integrated with plane geometry to lead the student to consideration of two-and three-dimensional figures and to develop the ability to visualize space relationships. Other geometries and methods of proof will also be explored. Right triangle trigonometry will be included in this course. Opportunities for creative expression and enrichment will be provided.
Honors Algebra 3-4 – 1 Year
This course in second year Algebra and Trigonometry is an extension of the topics covered in Algebra 1-2. The real and complex number systems, solutions of equations and inequalities, trigonometry, logarithms, and exponents are emphasized. The concepts of relations, and functions are explored thoroughly and used to unify the course material.
Honors Biology – 1 Year
This course is designed as an exploratory biology course with the express purpose of exposing outstanding students to scientific concepts and principles in the area of living organisms. This course carries a lab science credit. An in-depth study of traditional biology topics will be supplemented with research projects and open-ended labs.
Honors Chemistry – 1 Year
Honors Chemistry is a lab-oriented course that covers the same topics as Chemistry 1-2. Emphasis is placed on a more in-depth study of chemical topics and involves a more rigorous and mathematically oriented study than Chemistry 1-2. Opportunities for individualization and creative expression will be provided.
Honors US/AZ Government – 1 Semester
Honors American Government is a one-semester credit class designed for those students who meet the general criteria for the gifted and the requirements established by the Social Studies Department. Successful completion of this class will satisfy the state mandated government requirement. The course is designed to provide the student with a basic knowledge of the purpose, structure and operation of the national and state governmental systems. Emphasis will be placed on individual research, group activities, and simulation activities. In addition, there will be considerable out-of-class work. Community service is a requirement of this class.
Honors Economics – 1 Semester
This is a course designed to study the American economic system. The reading level will be significantly higher than that of the regular Free Enterprise classes. In addition, it is expected that honors students will read a considerable amount of outside related materials. Teaching methods will vary according to topic, but more seminar type discussion and independent study will be utilized than in regular Free Enterprise.
Spanish 1-2 – 1 Year
This course introduces students to the basic communication skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening. Students also will be introduced to culture and history.
Honors Spanish 3-4 – 1 Year
The second year course emphasizes conversation, grammatical construction, writing, reading, listening and a more in-depth study of culture. **Honors classes will include more in-depth writing exercises and an introduction to short stories and poetry.
Intermediate Band – 1 Year
This course is designed to help students develop basic instrumental skills and an appreciation and understanding of music. This course is open to any students who would like to further their fundamental skills in musical performance. An audition is required. Required public performances will include Fall, Winter and Spring concerts and festivals. Instruments will be furnished as available.
Concert String Orchestra – 1 Year
This course is designed for the intermediate string player who is interested in refining fundamental skills and gaining advanced training on any stringed instrument (violin, viola, cello, or string bass) and furthering an appreciation of music. The group is primarily but not exclusively a freshmen organization. The orchestra will provide opportunities for public performance; however, the emphasis is on training and developing string-playing techniques. Practicing outside of school is required. A limited number of school instruments are available.
Art and Design – 1 Year
Art and Design is not only for the aspiring young artist but also for the student who selects this course as a general interest class. Students are introduced to guidelines used in producing original artwork. Many art areas such as painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry, fibers, ceramics, computer art and commercial art are explored. Students also participate in a variety of activities such as art exhibits, sales, and field trips. This course prepares students for study in commercial art, fine arts, art education, special and leisure time interests and other art related careers.
IB Diploma Program — Grades 11 & 12
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The courses listed below are typically complete during the final two years of high school. Click here to learn more about each class from the IB.
Language and Literature
IB English HL – 2 Years
The focus and purpose of the English Higher Level course is to provide students with a wide variety of World and American literature, and challenging academic assignments to help them grow in both analytical skills and their own personal understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Literary selections include pieces from Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia. Several themes in literature that have global significance will be studied, including conflicting social systems, the multiple views of justice, responsibility and the consequences of indecision, how we as humans relate to our environment, the consequences of materialism, and how we view our past. Specific aims and objectives include analyzing information and drawing balanced, well-supported conclusions that demonstrate both sensitivity and compassion toward a diverse set of international cultures, and an understanding of how these cultures contribute to a more complete global community. Students will rigorously practice analytical skills in forming their analysis of selected works and passages. They will cultivate a deep understanding of language by closely examining a variety of genres, and expressing their learning in written literary analysis and oral commentary. Each student will be expected to display integrity, fairness, and respect in their interaction with others, and in the completion of their assignments. They will be encouraged to take risks in their learning, explore new ideas, and to competently defend their well-rounded beliefs. This is a two-year course. Students who enroll in this course during the junior year will also be enrolled in this course during the senior year. Registration for the IB exam in this course requires two years of coursework.
IB Spanish SL/HL – 2 Years
This course focuses on the continued acquisition and development of the Spanish Language through equal emphasis on the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The study of geography; history and civilization; art, architecture and painting; music and literature will reflect the themes of change, groups and leisure. Authentic texts, audio and video recordings will be used. The course will help students develop the ability to communicate accurately and effectively both orally and in writing within a range of contexts as well as the ability to understand and respond to the language demands of transactional and social contacts. Students will be provided with a sound linguistic base for further study in order to become life-long language learners. Furthermore, students will gain insights into the culture of the countries where Spanish is spoken along with an understanding of the role Spanish-speaking countries have in globalization. This course will prepare students for the Standard Level of the International Baccalaureate Spanish examination. Some of the more advanced students will be prepared for the Higher Level of the International Baccalaureate Spanish examination. This is a two-year course. Students who enroll in this course during the junior year will also be enrolled in this course during the senior year. Registration for the IB exam in this course requires two years of coursework.
IB Chinese Ab Initio (Mandarin) – 2 Years
The IB Chinese Ab Initio course is organized into three themes: individual and society; leisure and work; urban and rural environment. Each theme has a list of topics that provide the student with opportunities to practice and explore the language as well as to develop intercultural understanding. Through the development of receptive, productive, and interactive skills, students should be able to respond and interact appropriately in a defined range of everyday situations.
Individuals and Societies
Note: After two years of coursework, students will register for the IB History HL exam.
IB History of the Americas HL – 1 Year
IB History of the Americas Higher Level is a demanding introduction to U.S., Latin American, and Canadian History. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the historical development of the Americas. The course will promote a culture of international-mindedness, in which students will analyze historical events from multiple points of view. For example, American intervention in Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries will be examined, in depth. In addition to analyzing the reasons behind America's intervention, the intervention from the Latin American perspective, discussing its impact on the regions, politics, economics, and society will also be studied. This is the first of a two-year course. Students who enroll in this course during the junior year will also be enrolled in 20th Century World Topics IB course during the senior year.
IB 20th Century World Topics HL – 1 Year
20th Century World Topics focuses on in-depth studies of selected historical topics and subjects of 20th Century history, including the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Communism, nationalist and independence movements in Africa and Asia and post-1945 Central and Eastern European states, and the Cold War. For example, the study of Vietnam will be in-depth and multi-faceted. The initial study of the conflict will focus on the French perspective: why France sought to return to Indochina as a colonial power. The rise of Vietnamese nationalism and independence under Ho Chi Minh will also be considered. Finally, America's ever-increasing involvement in Vietnam, eventually culminating in a long, costly war will be examined. The point is move beyond the American perspective; the goal is to study this complex conflict from the perspective of all of the participants – American, French, and Vietnamese. This is the second of a two-year course. Students who enroll in the History of the Americas IB course during the junior year will also be enrolled in this course during senior year. Registration for the IB exam in this course requires two years of coursework.
IB Biology SL/HL – 2 Years
The IB Biology HL course strives to develop in its learners a natural curiosity of the world around them. The course will require the use of higher level thinking skills in order to solve problems that pertain not only to specific biological issues, but how these issues affect society as a whole. Learners will explore various biological concepts that are relative to their lives and will require thinking outside the individual's own realm. Students will be challenged to think from others' perspectives and be open to express new ideas that come to mind. Learning through inquire is an important focus of the IB Biology course. The objectives of the learners will be to understand a breadth of major biological concepts with an emphasis in evolution and ecology. Students should develop an appreciation of the world around them by developing an ultimate understanding of human evolution and how that evolution developed culture. Students will understand how the human species has impacted the environment in the short amount of time that we have lived on this planet. Assessment will take place at the end of each unit through projects and testing. A comprehensive final exam will be given at the end of each semester (twice a year). The group 4 project will be a three day field trip where students will study the ecology of the Sonoran desert. The student will compare the biome they live in to various other biomes. This is a two-year course. Students who enroll in this course during the junior year will also be enrolled in this course during the senior year. Registration for the IB exam in this course requires two years of coursework.
IB Chemistry SL – 1 Year
IB Chemistry Standard Level is designed to expand on the knowledge and experimental skills obtained in Pre-IB Chemistry and to prepare the student for further study of pure and applied sciences in high education. It will also help the student to develop the ability to analyze scientific literature critically and to develop manipulative and experimental skills necessary to perform college level scientific investigations. Topics include quantitative chemistry, atomic structure, periodicity, bonding, energetic, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction, and organic chemistry.
IB Math Studies SL – 1 Year
Mathematics Studies is designed to enhance the student's facility with mathematical processes. It is targeted to the student who intends to go on to college, but who will not necessarily major in math. The course emphasizes problem solving in the context of real-world applications and technologies and will utilize appropriate technology such as graphing calculators and computer programs. Math Studies will cover topics such as probability, descriptive and two-variable statistics, functions (trigonometric, quadratic, exponential, cubic, hyperbolic and higher order functions) and include an introduction to Calculus.
IB Mathematics – 2 Years
Mathematics Studies is a two-year course designed to enhance the student's facility with mathematical processes, in preparation for higher-level coursework. This course is targeted to the student who intends to go on to college, but who will not necessarily major in math. The course emphasizes problem solving in the context of real-world applications and technologies and will utilize appropriate technology such as graphing calculators and computer programs. The first year of Math Studies will cover topics normally covered in an Algebra 3-4 course, such as probability, descriptive and two-variable statistics, and functions, including trigonometry. The second year will continue the study of functions with quadratic, exponential, cubic, hyperbolic and higher order functions, and an introduction to calculus, much as a Pre-Calculus course would do. This is a two-year course. Students who enroll in this course during the junior year will also be enrolled in this course during the senior year. Registration for the IB exam in this course requires two years of coursework.
IB Music SL – 2 Years
This course is designed for students with a variety of music backgrounds in music performance, either as solo or group performers. The goal of the Tempe High School IB Music Program is to give students the opportunity to explore and enjoy the diversity of music throughout the world by enabling them to creatively develop their knowledge, abilities and understanding of music through analysis, performance and composition. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of music by group or solo performance, by using appropriate musical language and terminology in analyzing musical works from many world cultures and periods, and also by exploring their own musical composition. External assessments of listening and musical investigation will constitute 50% of the grade.
IB Visual Arts SL – 2 Years
FA47 | IB Visual Arts Higher Level* | 1.0 Cr. | 1 Year | FA
Visual Art Standard Level is a disciplinary arts course where students study the techniques, processes, and styles of art. This course will develop the students' knowledge of the principles and elements of design, color theory, composition, and art as a communication tool. Students will acquire expertise, develop confidence and understand guidelines in producing original works of art while exploring visual arts media, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, computer art, digital art and multimedia. The history of art, its influences on culture, time and place and the artistic process are also explored to advance individual investigation that informs the studio work. Students will be guided in developing their individual program of study to prepare their portfolios, exhibitions of their work, and candidate record booklet for IB assessment. Through the study of art, its processes, and its history, students will gain a broader perspective and understanding of the diversity, complexities, contributions, and spirit of mankind.
Theory of Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge
The IB Theory of Knowledge course will be taken during the spring semester of the student's Junior year and the fall semester of the Senior year. The course and the successful completion of the Theory of Knowledge essay are requirements to be awarded an IB Diploma. The Theory of Knowledge course is designed to develop students' critical thinking skills necessary for a coherent understanding of themselves as learners (the knower), how we know, and the interdisciplinary nature of their learning across academic areas of knowledge. Theory of Knowledge also seeks to encourage the appreciation of other cultural perspectives. Theory of Knowledge asks students and teachers to consistently participate in conversations on the nature and processes of knowing and to reflect critically on the ways of knowing. Active listening and positive contributions in conversation are fundamental to the Theory of Knowledge course. Theory of Knowledge challenges students to question their knowledge of themselves and their world and to practice responsible ethical behaviors.