Banyan High School Language Arts curriculum is designed to provide services to a broad range of students within a challenging academic curriculum. Literature and writing are taught in an integrated, sequential, comprehensive program that is both developmental and progressive in nature. In addition, to meet individual needs within the core curriculum, we have included a selection of mandatory courses with a variety of instructional options and optional remedial and supplemental courses, including English I, English II, English III, English IV and PSAT/SAT Preparation.
Reading Essentials/Reading Enrichment
Our Reading Essentials/Enrichment curriculum consists of two reading teachers and a reading specialist. The reading specialist evaluates each student to determine his or her individual needs. Students are then offered individual and small group instruction in decoding, vocabulary development, and comprehension. Reading instruction emphasizes Orton-Gillingham and Wilson Reading. Additional recognized research based programs are used as well. These programs are based on a structured, systematic phonetic method for decoding and encoding. Trained teachers utilize a multi-sensory approach to enable students to use their visual, auditory, and kinesthetic abilities to build their reading skills, enhance their vocabulary, and improve their spelling. The reading program is designed to meet individual learning needs and IEP goals. In our classes, we utilize various technology including laptops, iPads, and kindles to enhance our curriculum.
The Math curriculum at Banyan High School places an emphasis on differentiated instruction to develop a math experience tailor fit to the student’s individual needs. Instruction incorporates a hands-on multisensory approach with small class sizes and direct instruction. The curriculum is based on teacher modeling, manipulatives, visual aides, and technology (Smartboards, calculators, and iPads). A wide variety of classes are offered that include Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry. All classes are designed to foster application skills with an eye on preparing the student for life after Banyan.
The History curriculum is designed to allow students to see how the events of the past have shaped the world we live in today. Throughout the course of the school year, students read historical documents, complete various projects, and utilize different forms of technology to enhance the curriculum. In order to expand their critical thinking skills and stay on top on the history being made today, students also have the opportunity complete a monthly current event. Courses in the History curriculum include World History, United States History, Civics, and Economics.
The Science curriculum presently offers studies in four science disciplines: biology, chemistry, environmental science, and anatomy and physiology. The courses offered are designed to provide students with a comprehensive and well-rounded conceptual understanding of each science discipline. This is achieved by employing classroom discussions, model manipulatives, hands-on lab investigations, field trips, and the most up to date technology (Smartboards interactives, virtual labs, and iPad applications), all of which can be modified to accommodate individual student needs. The scientific method is applied consistently throughout each of the courses to help students develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Engineering practices and design, in accordance with New Generation Science Standards (NGSS), are addressed in each course to provide a student-centered experience and relate conceptual learning to “real-life” applications of science. Science literacy is integrated within the science curriculum to enhance our students’ literacy and communication skills.
The World Language curriculum offers basic and advanced courses, such as Spanish I, Spanish II and Spanish III. In these courses, students are introduced to the study of foreign language and the life style of people in diverse Spanish-speaking countries. Students learn pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, reading, and writing in the target language.
Banyan High School’s Economics course provides our students with the skills to make appropriate personal financial choices, understand the role of these choices in society, and use these skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options.
Health & Wellness
The overall purpose of Banyan High School’s Health and Wellness classes is to instill knowledge of life long health & wellness. The Physical Education curriculum exposes our students to various activities, games, sports, and skills. Our health classroom provides a safe environment for our students to speak freely on health concerns and issues.
The Banyan High School Music curriculum offers students the opportunity to experience music through performance, music creation, and technology. Students have the opportunity to perform in the chorus where they prepare for Banyan and community vocal performances, along with a year-end vocal competition at the Music in the Parks Festival. Instrumental lessons are offered to all students interested in piano and guitar. These classes offer individualized instruction in a private or semi-private setting. Instrumental lessons include instruction in beginning theory, music reading, music writing, and ensemble performance. In addition, these classes provide students with the opportunity to compose, record, and edit their performances for self-critique and as a means of personal creation.
Banyan High School’s Art curriculum empowers our students to explore, learn, and most of all enjoy a sense of accomplishment. The curriculum incorporates the fine arts/crafts, photography, and computer graphics. Beginning with conceiving ideas at our studio art table to a finished painting, or scanning a drawing into our Photoshop Suite for graphic embellishment, students are able to create a one of a kind work of art. In addition, students in photography classes learn to use our cameras to focus and compose artistically pleasing photographs. Students have the opportunity to take photos of the natural environment or transport themselves into any environment using our green screen.
Family & Consumer Science Department
The Family & Consumer Science curriculum encompasses courses that enable students to gain an understanding of basic nutrition concepts, meal planning, and food preparation and presentation. Students also have the opportunity to learn about table etiquette, purchasing, storage, safety, and sanitation. Areas also covered in relation to home management include laundering, cleaning, and budgeting. Course titles within the department include Foods and Nutrition I, Foods and Nutrition II and Senior Nutrition.
At Banyan High School, we offer a variety of electives in fine and practical arts, and higher level language, such as, Guitar, Chorus Rock Band, Psychology, Family and Consumer Sciences, Spanish II or III. Electives can be used to build or increase a specific skill set or just to explore new hobbies
Engrade is Banyan High School’s online grading and report card software program. This program is an excellent tool not only for teachers to monitor their students’ work, but also for students to self-monitor and become more responsible as they learn time and work management. Engrade allows students, teachers, staff, and districts to track student progress easily, while helping students keep up with their assignments.
Extended School Year (ESY)
Banyan High School’s Extended School Year (ESY) program focuses on the retention and strengthening of skills in the areas of decoding, reading comprehension, language arts and math. The program is open to current Banyan students, as well as students attending other schools. Classes are small to ensure individualized attention for all students. The “Summer of Learning” is a four-day a week program beginning in the month of July. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m.
Based upon individual needs, the related services of Counseling, Speech/Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are all available for students.