Watch Out for the New Classes at SJA!


St. Joseph's Academy

*Taken Pre- Covid* Some girls in an english class are taking notes

Brighton McDaniel, Senior Staff Writer

 It is that time of year… picking next school year’s classes! This year, for students, there are even more options. There are eight new classes. In addition to the new classes some courses and curriculums have been switched. 

World Literature & Composition used to be the freshman English requirement, but has now been moved to sophomore year.  Furthermore, American Literature & Composition used to be a Sophomore class, but is now the junior requirement.  The purpose of doing this, is so the girls will learn American Literature at the same time of learning American History. 

There is going to be a new social studies course that is open to both juniors and seniors, Mrs. Allison Koob, a social studies teacher at the Academy, is looking to taking a deep dive into historical events in the Topics in Social Studies class. 

 “We can study major themes, events, and issues as they relate to particular historical topics,said Ms. Koob. 

For students, there are several new courses offered next semester:

Technical Writing (10,11,12)

Technical writing offers the skills and practices of writing in various workplace environments and professional communities. The main objective of this course is to introduce students to the “real-world” writing they will see in their future science, business, industry, or government fields. This course will address the importance of good writing and reaching an intended audience in professional disciplines where writing is not normally considered an important skill. Students will produce and analyze technical definitions, abstracts and summaries, mechanism descriptions, instructions, process analyses, technical reports, proposals, correspondence, and job procurement. Projects may include writing a step-by-step guide of a technical or science-based procedure, writing definitions for science jargon, writing letters, memos, or emails in regards to a technical problem, creating resumes and cover letters, and responding to a request for a business proposal.

Topics in Social Studies (11,12)

This semester course will cover two topics of Social Studies, with each student taking one topic for the first quarter and the other topic for the second. This course allows students an opportunity to learn how to do a deep-dive into a topic: accessing, exploring, and analyzing primary and secondary sources. Students will have two different teachers, switching at the quarter to the other teacher and the other topic. While the topics may seem unrelated, the skills built in both quarters will be the same. 


 College Algebra (11,12)

This is a year-long course which reviews and extends upon the topics introduced in Algebra II. Topics covered include: factoring, complex numbers, rational exponents, simplifying rational functions, functions and their graphs, transformations, inverse functions, solving linear and nonlinear equations and inequalities, polynomial functions, inverse functions, logarithms, exponentials, solutions to systems of linear and nonlinear equations, systems of inequalities, matrices, and rates of change.

Summer Yoga and Hiking (10,11,12)

This class combines beginning hatha yoga with the experience of hiking in local state and county parks. Students will learn the fundamentals of yoga asanas (poses) and modifications for their individual bodies. The importance of yoga breathing techniques, mindfulness, and meditation as a tool to calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety will be explored. Students must have their own transportation and be able to meet at various locations in St. Louis County or at St. Joe.

ACP Astronomy (11,12)

This college credit astronomy course will utilize algebra and trigonometry to explore the fundamental concepts of astronomy. Topics will include: the celestial motions, planets and the formation of the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies, and cosmology. Advanced laboratory techniques, data analysis, and use of technology will play a critical role throughout the course. 

Honors Musical Theater (11,12)

This class is an exploration of the Musical Theatre genre. Students will study the work of the actor/singer/dancer and use their gained knowledge to develop as performers. Students will prepare and present as soloists as well as members of small groups and larger ensembles. Students will achieve understanding of the historical and creative aspects of musical theatre through an introduction to technical theatre, i.e. scenic design, costume, and make up design. Since this is a workshop course, students will prepare material for class presentation and critique. There will also be a focus on the audition process as well as musical theatre history and repertoire. Finally, the class will participate in a culminating showcase performance at the end of the semester. 

Living the Gospel through Catholic Social Teaching in Action Summer Course (11,12)

This course examines the response of Catholics and the Catholic Church to present and emerging social injustices as well as the challenges of the modern world. Responses and injustices are examined through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching in order to recognize the human dignity of all people. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of local, national, and global injustices. The course instills an awareness that fuels a growth in living our Catholic faith. Students will be required to engage in class for five weeks in the summer; two weeks of in person class, one week of travel on a social justice/service-based trip to Appalachia, the US/Mexican border, or similar opportunity, followed by two additional weeks of course work. Additional travel cost is required. Students may take this course the summer before OR after junior year. The corresponding course in the USCCB Curriculum Framework is Living as Disciples of Jesus Christ in Society.

*Service completed throughout this course will count towards a student’s yearly service hour requirement.

ACC God Talk: Ultimate Questions in Theology (12)

This course is designed for the theology student who wishes to be challenged at the collegiate level. This capstone course seeks to build an advanced understanding of theology by addressing ultimate questions at the heart of theology and religion. In dialogue with Jewish and Christian scripture, as well as classic and contemporary spiritual autobiographies written from within the Christian tradition and beyond, students will wrestle with the nature of faith; the nature, existence, and personhood of God; the nature and ends of creation and human life; evil and salvation, and other matters of ultimate concern. This course aims to stimulate engagement with and reflection on the kinds of questions that matter most in order to deepen students understanding our relationship with God, our place in the universe, and the nature of the human condition.

Mr. Robert Vittoe who is a science teacher here at St. Joe loves all the new options the girls have to take next year, especially in the science department. 

“I will be teaching ACP Astronomy next year! I love astronomy and it is one of my favorites to teach and learn” Mr. Vittoe said. 

Here at St. Joe there are multiple new classes, but something that is cool about St. Joe is that one can truly choose their schedule. If there is a certain career path you would like to go down after high school, they can get started on learning in highschool. It is even more likely after these brand new classes. The whole focus here at the academy is to build strong women, who go out into the world academically, and personally prepared.