9th Grade Curriculum

What 9th Graders Will Learn


Algebra I+: This core mathematics course teaches the fundamentals of algebraic concepts and skills through incremental development. Students learn to manipulate signed numbers and exponents, graph equations on the rectangular coordinate system, and factor quadratic equations that have real roots. In the fall semester, instruction covers algebraic properties, fractions, factoring, signed exponents, properties of equalities, solutions of single and multivariable equations, abstract fractions, and the slope-intercept formula. In the spring semester, students learn to factor quadratic equations, use the Pythagorean Theorem, derive an equation between two points, solve linear inequalities, factor binomials and trinomials, divide polynomials, simplify radical expressions, and manipulate scientific notation. Word problems include ratio/proportion, percentage, uniform motion, compound interest, and variation (indirect and indirect).


Classical History: Study of ancient Greece and ancient Rome will be the main focus throughout the course. Features studied will be contributions of both cultures/civilizations to Western society and include such concepts as culture, government, politics, arts, and philosophy.


Latin I: Students learn the basic elements of Latin grammar and forms in the first two years of study. Students begin to build vocabulary. Mythology, culture, and art history are essential parts of the program.


Biology: This biology course is a study of cell structure and function, genetics, and evolution. We’ll follow the chronology of the discovery of cells and genetics. This approach gives students a better appreciation of the significance of the discoveries by humanizing them in a story-like fashion. Next we’ll focus on natural selection as the driving force of evolution and what Darwin meant when he wrote: “grandeur of this view of life….from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been and are being evolved.”

Our hands-on experiences include a forensics simulation using the process of DNA sequencing to identify a crime suspect and the protein synthesis game. And, we’ll view a few of the amazing programs made by Sir David Attenborough.


English I: Students will begin a more focused exploration of genre, analyzing fictional prose and poetry from around the world and throughout time from classical works to contemporary pieces. Independent reading will continue to be encouraged. Advanced grammatical concepts will be mastered using diagramming to reinforce the concepts. Broad reading will contribute to a diversity of writing pieces with a focus on informative and analytical expression. In addition, students will write for an audience with pieces submitted quarterly for writing contests and publication.


Each academic day, students participate in courses focused on one of the following important academic and life skills.


Students will learn the elements of storytelling. They will study classic stories, and be given the opportunity to create and present original stories. The year culminates with an Oratory Contest.


Each year, students will rotate through Art, Music, Dance, and Drama, advancing in their skills and studies.

Study Skills

Students begin their preparation for high school academics by reviewing and reinforcing skills such as note-taking, outlining, memorizing, and time management. They learn to use organizational aids such as calendars, planners, and binders. Students begin to learn research skills such as the use of libraries and databases, and the creation of footnotes and bibliographies. Students learn classroom etiquette and self-advocacy. Teachers use specific content areas to build skills.


Students learn tools to form healthy relationships with others, to manage stress, to build self-esteem, and to advocate for themselves. They learn about their roles as productive members of society and communities. They learn the principles and practical application of ethics.