High School Courses 

English Language Arts


ELA 9 - Ms. Olivio

The primary focus of this course is to improve students’ thinking habits, reading and writing strategies, and listening and speaking practices. Students will: understand various genres and sub-genres of literature (novel, poetry, drama, short story, etc.) and literary devices; analyze nonfiction for voice, diction, syntax, tone, speaker, audience, purpose, the rhetorical framework, rhetorical appeals, and rhetorical devices; construct a research-based position paper, and; develop evidence-based writing skills in preparation for the ELA MCAS and college-level work. Students will engage in creative and analytical writing and will improve on their editing and revising skills for both types of writing. Students will also practice their argumentation skills during frequent democratic discussions throughout the year and through short- and long- term writing projects. Many standards recur throughout the year, but increased mastery is expected and will be formatively assessed as students progress through the curriculum.


ELA 9 - Ms. Hawkes

The primary focus of this course is to improve and challenge students’ thinking habits, reading and writing strategies, and listening and speaking practices. Students will understand various genres and sub-genres of literature (novel, poetry, drama, short story, etc.) and literary devices; analyze nonfiction for voice, diction, syntax, tone, speaker, audience, and purpose, the rhetorical framework, rhetorical appeals, and rhetorical devices; construct a research-based position paper; and develop evidence-based writing skills in preparation for the ELA MCAS and college-level work. Students will engage in creative and analytical writing and will improve on their editing and revising skills for both types of writing. Recurring attention is paid to several Common Core standards throughout the year, but increased mastery is expected. Proficiency will be formatively assessed regularly and summative assessments include a mid-term examination and a culminating research project.


ELA 10 - Ms. Rangel

Is the “American Dream” concept of upward mobility truly inclusive, and an option for everyone? Inherent to the concept is the idea that if you’re moving up, then there are people you’re moving past - there must always be people on the bottom, or the outside, to enable upward mobility for some. Who have those downtrodden been, throughout American history? What tools are used by society as a whole to keep them there? Are we all free to truly pursue happiness? Through literature, we will examine questions surrounding identity, intersectionality, and social justice that arise from these issues. Together we explore short pieces through Writers Workshop, as well as embark on an ambitious independent reading program through Readers Workshop that enables us to explore these themes through self-directed study.


ELA 11 - Dr. Van

In English and Humanities 11, we will consider the essential question, How do we do right in the face of injustice? In ELA, we will consider oppression and privilege as forms of injustice and will build our understanding of the means by which people resist oppression by engaging with complex literary and informational texts from acclaimed authors and historical figures. Central texts include excerpts from The Souls of Black Folk by the American sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois, the “Atlanta Compromise Speech” by the American reformer and education pioneer Booker T. Washington, Holocaust literature (such as The Book Thief by the Australian author Markus Zusak), Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda by the Belgian graphic artist Jean-Philippe Stassen, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, and A Raisin in the Sun by the American dramatist Lorraine Hansberry. The course will include writing support for the rigorous Junior Thesis paper, the research for which is conducted in Humanities 3. The course concludes with a cross-curricular primary research exhibition aimed at bringing about social change to reduce injustices in our communities. Building our skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language, we will learn to more expertly exercise our own voice in resisting oppression in the struggle to build a more sustainable and socially just future.


ELA 11 Advanced Placement Language and Composition - Ms. Olivio

One of the major purposes of the course is to make students “aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.” Additionally, the course, which is designed to be the equivalent of a first-year college rhetoric course, is meant to assist students in “writing effectively and confidently in their college courses across the curriculum and in their professional and personal lives.” The course goal is to further student understanding and appreciation of the English language, particularly language used to argue and persuade. The class will study the logic of English usage, learn new words, and read writing that exemplifies precision and rhetorical force.


ELA 12 - Ms. Betit

When is conflict justified? This question will drive an examination of literature across genres and time periods with a particular focus on how marginalized characters attempt to escape their circumstances. As this is a senior level course, reading and writing assignments will require a great deal of outside work as well as an attention to literary analysis and academic argumentation.


ELA 12 Advanced Placement Literature and Composition - Ms. Betit

The AP English Literature and Composition course engages 12th grade students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to create meaning. Students learn to consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.


English as a Second Language


ESL 9-12 – Mr. O’Donnell/ Ms. Lefkowitz

The English as a Second Language (ESL) program is available for students who do not speak English as their primary language. Students are placed in the appropriate level ESL class depending on how they score on a language test, language proficiency scores, or a language interview. Students then progress through the levels of the program. The ESL curriculum covers four essential areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The final goal for the ESL student is to gain enough English proficiency to take all mainstream courses without the need for ESL support.



Humanities 9 - Ms. Salazar

From the first contact between Native Americans and Europeans, to the colonization of the “New World” and the establishment of a new nation, early American history is riddled with instances of unrest, power struggles, protest, revolution, violence, and courage. In 9th grade Humanities, students will examine how the pursuit of power influenced the social interactions between different people and the extremes some were willing to go to in order to attain that power. Students will also explore how certain societies maintained their power and how they responded to anyone who dissented or threatened the status quo. Lastly, throughout the course of study students will discover the courageous men and women who challenged the injustices committed in the pursuit of power.


Humanities 10 - Ms. Zahlaway

This course explores various groups of people who were discriminated against throughout American history. We look at their journey and their fight for equality to determine whether or not they have been able to achieve true equality today. Can everyone ever be completely equal? The periods of American history that we study are Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and Boston busing. Students end the school year by completing a major cross-curricular exhibition, GREENTalks, in which they explore food justice issues in their communities.


Humanities 11 - Ms. Mandelbaum

From the Armenian Genocide to the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and Darfur, modern history is haunted by acts of brutal violence. Yet leaders who vow “never again” repeatedly fail to prevent genocide. In 11th grade Humanities, students will tackle the issue of injustice in the form of economic, political, and social case studies from around the world and throughout history. Using the essential question, “How can we do right in the face of injustice?” students will discover how countries experienced and remember tragedy, as well as what happens when a legacy of injustice goes ignored. Students complete the year by focusing on rescuers and resistors of injustice, and by developing their own action plan for combating injustice in their own communities.


Humanities 12 - Ms. Scott

“Humanities” is the study of human beings – who we are as individuals and how we are shaped by geography, history, governments, economics, culture, literature and art. Humanities 4 examines how we, as real people with real lives, might learn and grow from conflict that exists in our city, our nation, and our world. We will examine several incidents/events of conflict that have taken place throughout history as well as more modern-day conflicts that have been occurring during our lives. We will try to answer our essential question of “When are people justified for fighting for their rights?” as we examine each of these events.


Humanities 12: Advanced Placement Humanities – Ms. Scott

This course will introduce students to the spatial world around them and its influences on human behavior. The fundamental geographical concepts of location, place, region, movement, and human-environment interaction will be studied, discussed, and applied to different peoples throughout our world. Focusing on these ideas will help students understand behavioral use of the earth and its resources, spatial interaction, political organization of space, human settlement patterns, globalization, regionalization, and the growth of urbanization. The use of maps and the significance of mental maps will be emphasized in the course. Students will be introduced to and interact with various geographic information systems (GIS) and the Global Positioning System (GPS). This course prepares students for the demands of a college education by providing experience in college level reading, writing, and responsibility for learning. The course is an opportunity for students to earn college credits during their time in high school. Course curriculum, materials, and expectations are designed to prepare students for success on the AP exam in May.



Math 9: Integrated Math 1 – Ms. Rodgers

In order to increase student engagement and increase intellectual demand, our traditional Algebra 1 course has been changed to Integrated Math 1. Integrated Math 1 is the term used to describe the style of mathematics education which integrates many topics or strands of mathematics throughout each year of high school. Integrated Math 1 covers topics in algebra, geometry, functions, and data & statistical analysis. In class, students will be presented with engaging tasks that they must grapple with, in order to solve them. As student’s thinking start to take form and shared through class discussion, I will facilitate the discussion toward continued exploration and mathematical goal setting. As conjectures are developed and explored, students begin to establish effective strategies for analyzing & solving problems. Students will justify their solutions by describing, clarifying, comparing and questioning others’ thinking, which will lead to deep understanding and math fluency.


In this course, students will be challenged to work like mathematicians and to understand the rules they use. Students begin to transform algorithms, such as following simple number tricks, into expressions using variables. Equations are introduced to express relationships between expressions. Students begin to formalize the basic method for solving equations. The coordinate plane is re-introduced as students experiment with transformations of points and shapes and explore absolute value and distance. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and tables to summarize and interpret data. Students re-engage with the slope of a line. They learn how to identify and calculate slope graphically, tabular, and by manipulating linear equations. Functions are introduced as a machine defined by a specialized rule, which students are given rules and asked to create & define their own. Students will learn to build functions to model situations described in word problems. Students develop the basic rules of exponents, starting with positive integer exponents. Students learn the difference between rational numbers and irrational numbers and basic rules and conventions for calculating with square roots, cubed roots, etc. Monomial and polynomial are introduced, and students explore the features of polynomial expressions, how to factor and perform operations on them. Students learn the major characteristics of quadratic functions and the quadratic formula. Students are encouraged to look at the study of algebra as not only about finding a method that works but also understanding why that method works. Students will be expected to apply skills and concepts learned in this course to real life situations.


Math 10: Integrated Math 2 – Mr. Nibberich

Students enrolled in this math course will explore concepts outlined in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Students will further their understanding of mathematics by engaging in cognitively demanding mathematical tasks that seek to draw a real connection between mathematics and the world outside the classroom. To that end, students enrolled in this course will use various math-based technologies to further understanding of math and its endless applications.


Math 11: Advanced Algebra – Ms. Graham

Advanced Algebra builds on the foundation of algebraic and geometric concepts. This course will focus on units of study that cover polynomials, radical and rational expression/equations, exponential functions, arithmetic sequences, statistic, and trigonometric functions. The content of this course are important for students’ success on college mathematics entrance exams.


Math 11: Advanced Algebra – Ms. Wu

Building on their work with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions, students in Boston Green Academy’s Advanced Algebra course will extend their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, trigonometric, and logarithmic functions. Students will work closely with the expressions that define the functions and continue to expand and hone their abilities to model situations and to solve equations, including solving quadratic equations over the set of complex numbers and solving exponential equations using the properties of logarithms. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.


Math 12: Pre-Calculus – Ms. Willwerth

Students enrolled in Boston Green Academy’s Pre-Calculus course will build upon their Algebra and Geometry skills to prepare to take AP Calculus or a credit bearing college math course. Content covered will include functions, polynomials and trigonometry. Students will engage in activities and learning opportunities that will require critical thinking in order to model mathematical relationships. Students will apply the course content to further their understanding of sustainability issues in the world beyond the classroom.


Math 12: Senior Math Seminar – Ms. Graham

Senior Math Seminar with Personal Finance is a college and career preparatory course that integrates algebra, probability and statistics, and geometry to solve financial problems that occur in everyday life. Real-world problems in investing, credit, banking, auto insurance, mortgages, employment, income taxes, budgeting and planning for retirement are solved by applying relevant mathematics.


Math 12: Advanced Placement Calculus AB – Ms. Willwerth

Calculus is the mathematics of change. This course will cover content on three big ideas of calculus: limits, derivatives, and integrals. In addition to learning content, significant time will be spent working on free-response application questions that will prepare students to take the AP Calculus AB Exam.



Science 9: Environmental Science – Mr. Donnelly

By the end of this course, students will have a better appreciation of the importance and beauty of Nature. They will be able to describe the basic natural cycles that sustain life. They will understand the environmental problems that we are facing in the areas of energy, water, climate, soils and biodiversity as well as sustainable solutions to those problems. Students will participate in a series of project based learning opportunities to develop their understanding of Environmental Science and help them become aware of job opportunities in this very broad field of study.


Science 10: Biology - Ms. Coffey

This course is a survey of topics in biology through a green, environmentally focused lens. Students will learn the concepts of biology throughout 7 units, each emphasizing a unique division of biological study. Students will be expected to maintain a biology binder in which they will organize and store guided notes, analyze current articles and reflect on their progress. By the end of the course, students will have developed critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and confidence in collaborating with classmates and public speaking. All students will be expected to take the Biology MCAS in culmination of the course in June.


Science 11: Chemistry – Ms. Wollak

The course will include a standards-based review of measurement and the metric system, analysis of atomic structure, examination of the periodic table and its meaning, study of various types of chemical bonding, and investigation into different chemical compounds and why they behave as they do. We will discuss gas laws, energy transfer and nuclear chemistry as well. Conceptual and mathematical understanding of chemistry will be stressed. Problem-solving skills, discussion and argumentation skills, hands on activities, critical thinking situations, and activity- and lab-based learning will be incorporated throughout the course.


Science 11: AP Environmental Science – Mr. Donnelly

The AP Environmental Science course is a full-year course designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science.The goal of the course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world as well as identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made. Students will evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them, and develop and focus their own political perspective.


Science 11: Biomedical Science – Ms. Coffey

Student work in this course involves the study of human medicine as students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including: heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led to the diagnosis of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have lead to the medical condition exhibited by the patient.


Science 11: MCAS Bio Prep – Ms. Graham

Biology MCAS prep is aimed at preparing students to take the MCAS Biology assessment. Students taking this course will: - learn test-taking strategies to help prepare for the MCAS Biology test - review key topics in biology (ecology, cells, genetics, evolution, and anatomy) - participate in activities, debates, discussions, and presentations related to key topics The course offers students multiple opportunities to practice taking the test, get clarity on their most challenging questions about the test, and design models to help them remember what they are learning.


Science 12: Engineering – Ms. Wilson

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to assessing and developing sustainable solutions to meet the needs of society, the economy and the environment on regional and global scales. Students will utilize the Engineering Design Process to define, develop and optimize sustainable solutions to authentic problem-based scenarios, such as wind turbines, tiny houses, and environmental robots. This course will help nourish citizen-scientists who will recognize their impact on the local and global environment and economy, be empowered to make informed decisions, and communicate and advocate for a sustainable future.


Science 12: Physics – Ms. Wilson

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to assessing and developing sustainable solutions to meet the needs of society, the economy and the environment on regional and global scales. Students will use primary sources to gain a better understanding of food, water, shelter, and energy challenges that society faces. After diving into the conceptual and mathematical physics underlying these systems, students will utilize the Engineering Design Process to define, develop and optimize sustainable solutions to authentic problem-based scenarios, such as solar ovens, passive houses, and upcycling. This course will help nourish citizen-scientists who will recognize their impact on the local and global environment and economy, be empowered to make informed decisions, and communicate and advocate for a sustainable future.


Career Technical Education (CTE) Environmental Science


CTE 9: Ecology and Earth Science – Mr. Donnelly

Students in the Environmental Science CTE (Career and Technical Education) track will take this class designed to help them develop an appreciation for the interconnected nature of the biosphere. In this laboratory and field experiment based class, students will study the physical processes that create different biomes and use wildlife sampling techniques to understand how we measure populations.


CTE 10: Energy and the Environment – Mr. Donnelly (semester course)

Students in the Environmental Science CTE track will take this course helping them to understand that the world runs on energy. Every plant, animal and person depends on energy. We need energy to power our homes, schools, businesses, transportation systems and farms. This course will cover the energy sources we currently use as well as their impacts on the environment. We will look at more sustainable alternatives and examine how our society can make the transition to a clean energy economy. Students will get a hands-on introduction to the basics of photovoltaic systems, bio-fuels, solar thermal systems and wind power. Students will undergo an audit of their family's energy use and examine ways they can reduce their family's eco-footprint. Career opportunities in the energy field will be explored.


CTE 10: Natural resources and the Environment – Mr. Donnelly – (semester course)

Students in the Environmental Science CTE cohort will take this course designed to encourage a positive attitude and concern regarding natural resources and our environment. We will learn about our natural resources in Massachusetts and New England. Students will also be shown that concern for the environment and action to preserve the environment must start on the local level and at home. We will undertake a look at the life cycle of everyday products and examine how we can reduce our natural resource use to preserve the environment for future generations.


CTE 11: Methods in Environmental Science-Water – Mr. Donnelly

Students will begin by refining their ability to accurately measure water quality in the aquaponics systems of our school and use this information to make decisions on how to maximize fish and plant health. This class will also feature an intensive exploration into measuring and analyzing the WQI (Water Quality Index) of the Charles River Watershed. Additionally, students will develop their GIS mapping skills by incorporating their WQI field work on the Muddy and Charles River into GIS maps. Students will also study how Boston treats wastewater and explore job opportunities in wastewater management.


CTE 11: Methods in Environmental Science: Soil – Mr. Donnelly

Students will develop the ability to accurately interpret the type of soil present on a given plot of land and use this knowledge to create GIS maps that accurately depict soil types in a given area. Students will also work to develop plans to amend soils in an effort to create ideal growing conditions for a variety of native plants. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of solid waste management by developing and maintaining the school’s composting program. Our composting program will allow students to create a sustainable garden on site using permaculture principles. Students will explore career options in land use management and GIS.


CTE 12: USGBC LEED Green Associate Prep – Mr. Donnelly

This course is designed to prepare to students to pass the test to earn their LEED Green Associate credential. This credential allows students to demonstrate that they have an understanding of the most current green-building principles and practices. The course will cover the LEED system and the principles of sustainability on which it is based. The course will cover all aspects of green-building including net-zero design, indoor air quality, sustainable materials, water conservation, rainwater management and green roofs.


CTE 12: Credentialing Courses – Mr. Donnelly

Students will complete coursework that will allow them to earn a variety of credentials that will make them competitive in the work market after high school. The credentials that students will have the opportunity to earn are listed below.


  •  CPR and First Aid

  •  Massachusetts Class II Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

  •  Massachusetts Grade I Drinking Water Treatment


Boston Green Academy da la bienvenida a estudiantes diversos de todas las capacidades, los educa y los capacita para que tengan éxito en la universidad y la carrera, y los prepara para liderar la sostenibilidad de nuestra comunidad y el mundo.


20 Warren Street

Brighton, MA 02135

617 635-9860 (phone)

617 635-9858 (fax)


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Boston Green Academy no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, identidad de género, etnia, orientación sexual, discapacidad mental, edad, ascendencia, rendimiento deportivo, necesidad especial, dominio del idioma inglés o extranjero. Idioma, o logro académico previo.

BGA's national Green Ribbon School award from the U.S. Dept. of Education for our whole-school green and sustainable practices.