Academics

Summer Academic Program 2017

Taking one or more of our summer academic course truly embraces the Westtown School mantra “We’re all about you”. We are thrilled to expand our Summer Academic program and offer a greater variety of Upper School courses in the summer. Our Summer Academic program gives you the opportunity to create flexibility in your academic year course schedule. You can get ahead on fulfilling graduation requirements. You can continue studies in an area of passion. You can take a course online. You can take the stage.

The majority of these offerings are credit-bearing courses that fulfill graduation requirements. The courses are taught by our own talented and dedicated Westtown faculty, or professionals in their field – and sometimes both!

REGISTRATION OPENS FEBRUARY 4, 2017

Biology 1: The Cell as a Basic Unit of Life | 0.5 credit | Grades rising 10-12

June 19 – July 7, 2017
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
$925.00

This course establishes a solid foundation in modern biology covering the cell as the basic unit of life. The structures and functions of cellular organelles will be discussed with emphasis on DNA as the molecule that controls cell function. Additional cellular functions include the generation of energy during cellular respiration and the process of cell division. Using microscopes and modern techniques such as electrophoresis, students will complete lab work that complements and underlines the concepts learned in class. Prerequisites: Physics 1 and Chemistry 1.

Biology 2: Ecology | 0.5 credit | grades 10-12

July 10 – 28, 2017

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

$925.00

This one-semester course serves as an introduction to the field of ecology. We will start by identifying key global ecological concepts to provide context for identifying and interpreting the variety of ecosystems found on our campus, which are representative of the major ecological systems found in the north eastern United States.  Students will gain experience in both field and laboratory investigation techniques. A key goal of this course is also to improve analytical and writing skills through analysis and interpretation of ecological data.   Prerequisite:  Completion of Biology 1.

Geometry | 1 credit | Grades rising 9-11

Hybrid course

In Person | 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays

Online | Tuesdays & Thursdays

June 19 – July 28, 2017

$1850.00

This course covers plane geometry and includes the study of congruency, similarity, ratio and proportion, area, the geometry of the circle, and right triangle trigonometry. Equal time is devoted to writing proofs and the use of computational aspects of basic results. Successful completion of this course prepares students to take Algebra 2, Algebra 2 (Advanced) or Algebra 2 & Trigonometry(Advanced). Prerequisite: Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 (Advanced)

Intro to High School Writing | Elective | Grades rising 9 -10

June 26 – July 14, 2017

9am-12pm

$925.00

Students receive an in-depth orientation to high school writing across the curriculum from a member of the full-time English faculty. This course is suitable for students entering into high school and for students who have struggled with the increased expectations for high school writing during the 9th grade year. In this three week intensive, students will learn the foundational skills of analytical, expository, argumentative, and critical writing, including but not limited to:

-creating an effective thesis statement

-introducing and explaining evidence

-crafting a conclusion

-understanding (and avoiding) common grammatical errors

-how to read & interpret an essay prompt

-timed writing

-customizing your planning and outlining process

-formality in structure and tone

-citing sources

No pre-requisites. Students will need a laptop with a word processing program. Students will regularly produce writing for feedback during class time but will not have homework between sessions.

Microeconomics | 0.5 credit | Grades rising 10-12

Online course |  Mandatory daily web conference 9 PM (EST) | Monday – Thursday

June 12 – 30, 2017

$925.00
Economics is the study of how a society uses limited resources to produce and distribute the goods needed to live healthy and fulfilling lives.  Microeconomics focuses on the decisions made by individuals and firms.  The first goal of this course is to provide a solid foundation in most of the topics found in an introductory college-level Microeconomics class.  However, Westtown’s Economics courses are unique in that they also pay special attention to issues of stewardship and sustainability, grounded in the school’s mission as a Quaker school.  To that end, this course investigates the nontraditional discipline of Ecological Economics, which probes the limits of the Earth’s resources and calls into question the basic assumption of the feasibility of ongoing growth in consumption.
Taking Economics online affords students the opportunity to learn at a distance without sacrificing the collaborative quality of education central to Westtown’s classroom experience.  Course materials and goals are similar to Westtown’s school year syllabus but will be adapted and combined with traditional textbook materials (based on Greg Mankiw’s Essentials of Economics) to take advantage of online capabilities and provide the best possible learning experience.  Students will watch short whiteboard-style lecture videos created exclusively for this course, navigate labs designed to guide students to understanding through constructing and applying economic concepts, “meet” periodically as a class in a chat room or in an asynchronous forum for discussion of the current topic, and consult with student partners as needed to help each other master the material.  The average student should expect to spend about six hours each day working independently and collaboratively to complete this course.  Additional questions about the course can be emailed directly to the instructor at elson.blunt@westtown.edu.

Macroeconomics | 0.5 credit | Grades rising 10-12

Online course | Mandatory daily web conference 9 PM (EST) | Monday – Thursday

July 3 – 21, 2017

$925.00
Economics is the study of how a society uses limited resources to produce and distribute the goods needed to live healthy and fulfilling lives.  Macroeconomics investigates the dynamics of the entire economy.  The first goal of this course is to provide a solid foundation in most of the topics found in an introductory college-level Macroeconomics class.  However, Westtown’s Economics courses are unique in that they also pay special attention to issues of stewardship and sustainability, grounded in the school’s mission as a Quaker school.  To that end, this course investigates the nontraditional discipline of Ecological Economics, which probes the limits of the Earth’s resources and calls into question the basic assumption of the feasibility of ongoing growth in consumption.
Taking Economics online affords students the opportunity to learn at a distance without sacrificing the collaborative quality of education central to Westtown’s classroom experience.  Course materials and goals are similar to Westtown’s school year syllabus but will be adapted and combined with traditional textbook materials (based on Greg Mankiw’s Essentials of Economics) to take advantage of online capabilities and provide the best possible learning experience.  Students will watch short whiteboard-style lecture videos created exclusively for this course, navigate labs designed to guide students to understanding through constructing and applying economic concepts, “meet” periodically as a class in a chat room or in an asynchronous forum for discussion of the current topic, and consult with student partners as needed to help each other master the material.  The average student should expect to spend about six hours each day working independently and collaboratively to complete this course.  Additional questions about the course can be emailed directly to the instructor at elson.blunt@westtown.edu.

Scientific Research - Molecular Methods | Elective | Grades rising 9-12

June 19 – July 07, 2017

1:00 – 4:40 PM

$925.00

Scientific Research – Molecular Methods  In this summer science course, students will be able to explore various molecular biology techniques, including but not limited to: microscopy, bacterial plasmid DNA minipreps, DNA isolation, DNA precipitation, DNA restriction enzyme digestion, agarose gel electrophoresis, agarose gel imaging, DNA plasmid cloning, bacterial transformation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), protein purification, Western blotting, mammalian and bacterial cell culture, and BLAST sequence analysis. As time permits, we may add more techniques.  Prerequisites: Biology 1 and 2 and science department approval.

Textbook (Instructor Manual- not needed for students):

http://www.molecularcloning.com/

Topics: Microscopy Bacterial plasmid DNA minipreps DNA isolation DNA precipitation DNA restriction enzyme digestion Agarose gel electrophoresis Gel imaging DNA plasmid cloning Bacterial transformation PCR Protein purification Western blotting Cell culture RNA purification (possibly- need to check on equipment) BLAST sequence analysis

Intermediate Spanish | 1 credit | See Prerequisite information below

June 19 – July 21, 2017

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

$1850.00

The objective of this course is to develop students’ proficiency of the Spanish language to the intermediate level in all four skills of second language acquisition: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Students will continue to build vocabulary through more advanced interpretive activities as well as engage in real-life interpersonal/intrapersonal/presentational action-based tasks in every unit covered. This course will review previously learned grammar concepts and and develop a fundamental understanding of the subjunctive mood. Students will expand their knowledge of vocabulary and begin the reading of authentic literature from Hispanic writers. Furthermore, current events of the Spanish-speaking world will be examined through student’s ongoing interpretive and presentational tasks.  Prerequisite: Passing grade and/or Intermediate mid-range proficiency level as defined by ACTFL

 

For prerequisite questions contact:

Dr. Mónica Ruiz-Meléndez
Chair, World Languages Department

monica.ruiz-melendez@westtown.edu

610-399-7887 (office)

610-399-7771 (voicemail)

United States History Survey | 1 credit | Grades rising 10-12

Online Course

June 19 – July 28

$1850.00

This full credit US History class will cover the content of the standard US History survey course. The class will be structured as an on-line course. We will meet in an on-line virtual classroom on a weekly basis at a time that will work best with everyone’s schedules.
Any outstanding course material must be submitted by Monday, August 3th. The expectation is that students will be able to work independently and commit between 14-20 hours a week to their US History course work. In between our virtual meetings students will be expected to participate in our online discussion forum, complete online assessments and engage actively with their classmates and instructor in our virtual classroom. Students will lead class discussions, participate in debates, write two essays, and participate in one collaborative project and one individual project. The final project will count for 25% of the grade and will serve as the final exam.
Prerequisite:

  • Students are expected to have access to a computer complete with the ability to participate in our online sessions. For these sessions students will need both a video camera and microphone for full access to the course. Students should have an email address.

Course Expectations

  • Students are expected to commit to regular participation in all aspects of the course.
  • Students are to begin each unit having garnered a basic understanding of the topic/time period we are considering. This can be accomplished with one of the suggested texbooks, Wikipedia, videos or other well crowd-sourced or reputable sources. We will discuss how to judge the reliability of a source in our first session. As a general rule of thumb avoid web sites that end in “.com” (instead opt for sites that end in “.edu”).
  • The foundation for all our work will be the discussion forum. Everyone is responsible for its success.
  • Within the on-line forum, students are expected to be engaged, think critically, respond to each other thoughtfully. While honest disagreement and debate is expected, disrespectful language or other behavior deemed offensive by the instructor or any class member will not be tolerated and may result in a student being suspended from the class for a period of time.
  • Academic integrity is a must. Be very clear that you understand the degree of collaboration or sharing of information for each and every assignment.
  • All work is to be handed in on time. All work is due by 11:30pm EST.
    • Late work will be penalized 10% of the point total for each 24 hour period it is late.
  • Rewrites are not permitted, however, I am happy to read a draft of any paper or other assignment prior to its final submission.Time Commitment
    • Students are expected to participate regularly in the on-line discussion forums and class wikis. Approximately 3 hours per week is the minimum expectation.
    • Students should expect to be reading and/or working on essays, projects & presentations prep 12-14 hours a week.

    Texts

    • There are no specific texts for this course. I will offer students one of three US History texts. United States History by Emma Lapsanksy-Werner, Out of Many by Jack Farragher, or Give Me Liberty by Eric Foner. We will use these texts as background reading for our work. You are also welcome to use videos as background reading. Westtown has an online video service with a number of fine videos covering much of what we will study this term.
    • Appreciation for different authors and actors will be key. For this reason, as well as background reading, there will be assigned readings each week. Readings will be posted in the course site.
    • You will be responsible for finding and sharing resources with the rest of the class to round out and deepen our consideration of the topics we are studying (include source URLs).
    • All students will have access to Westtown’s on-line subscription services. We will draw on these from time to time. The password and log-in information will be provided on the first two days of class.
World Religions | 0.5 credit | Grades rising 11-12

July 3 – 21, 2017

12:00 – 4:30 PM

$925.00

The Summer World Religions course explores the dominant religions of Asia and the Middle East—Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. These traditions not only shape modern societies in powerful ways, but also offer unique and often instructive correctives to Western attitudes. Our study of these religions will be based in an examination of sacred texts, group discussions, research projects and field trips. This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students enrolled should expect to complete at least two essays, three projects, three unit tests, and a semester’s worth of reading over the course of 3 weeks.

Writing your college essay (ideal techniques for the common application essay) | Elective | Rising 12th Grade

July 17 – 21, 2017

1:00 – 4:00 PM

$450.00

 

In this week long intensive workshop, students will learn both self-editing and peer-editing. We will use brainstorming and basic outlining to identify a topic that highlights authentic voice and unique experience. Furthermore, thorough editing will reveal a command of essay mechanics, as well as required word count. Instructor Linda Rosenberg McGuire (Westtown School Dean of Upper School Students and published author), will assist essayists in finding, and then telling their story, editing for word and theme, as well as clarity and value, until their best work reflects not only who they are, but their writing style. Students who have no idea (or hundreds of ideas) what they want to write about, have an idea but no words to express it yet, or who already have a rough draft are all welcome to attend. The only requirements are a fantastic attitude, a willingness to take feedback from others, and a laptop computer. Supplemental essay writers will find this class just as helpful.