Course Descriptions for 2022-2023
Westside Christian High School offers more than 50 courses* each academic year, including a wide array of electives. In this section, you will find each courses' description (organized by department) along with required prerequisites. For more information about the courses needed for graduation, please review the graduation requirements.
Bible 9-Bible Survey
This course will give a broad overview of the Old Testament as the foundation of our faith. Students will be equipped with a basic historical layout of the Bible by exploring its major events, characters, themes, and theological concepts. The redemptive-historical thread of the Bible from Genesis to Jesus will be exposed, providing the opportunity for students to see and experience God's sovereign plan and grace to us all.
Bible 10-Life and Works of Jesus (Semester 1)
Bible 10-Christian Theology 1 (Semester 2)
SEMESTER 1: The Life and Works of Jesus course will explore the accounts of Jesus’ life as recorded in the Gospels while drawing practical insight and life application. The class will cover the historical context, structure, styles, key themes, and events of Matthew.
SEMESTER 2: The Theology class will study the foundational tenets of the Christian faith covering Bibliology, Theology Proper, Anthropology, Hamartiology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, and Eschatology. The class is designed to help students think through the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of Christianity.
Bible 11-World Religions and World Views (semester 1)
Bible 11-Christian Apologetics and Evangelism (semester 2)
SEMESTER 1: This course will define religion and compare and contrast Christianity to Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Mormonism based on their views of God, sin, salvation, Jesus, and the afterlife. Their scriptures, symbols, and historical and cultural backgrounds will also be explored.
SEMESTER 2: This course will help students learn how to understand, defend, and share the Gospel Message. Instruction will focus on worldviews and their importance, helping students to see the world through a biblical grid comparing Christianity with atheism, agnosticism, and relativism. Students will learn how to respond in truth and love to the primary cultural issues. Students will examine the concept of spreading the love of God in words, deeds, relationships, and proclamation.
Bible 12-Christian Leadership, Senior Project (semester 1)
Bible 12-Christian Theology 2 (semester 2)
SEMESTER 1: This course will examine a biblical theology of servant leadership beginning with God’s mandate to exercise dominion as bearers of his image and culminating with an understanding of Jesus as the exact representation of God’s image. Students will discuss the common ways in which their practice of leadership will be realized by following the pattern set by Jesus, while also exploring the unique ways in which God has designed each of them to lead in different ways. Students will have the opportunity for practical application of these lessons through their Senior Leadership Project which will be formulated and proposed during this first semester and then implemented during second semester.
SEMESTER 2: This course in Christian Theology will focus upon biblical theology in order to complement the systematic theology course taken during their Sophomore year. The semester will begin by examining the dual nature of the Bible, noting that it is both a fully divine and fully human product. The majority of the semester will be devoted to the study of hermeneutics as we explore the methods and assumptions that we bring to our interactions with the Bible such that students will learn how to discern the theology of the Bible through their own study.
In this class, students will develop their skills in reading literature, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and discussion. They will read a variety of novels, poems, plays, and short stories, including selections such as Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Silence Between Us, The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, and others. Students will write in a variety of forms, including expository, narrative, poetry, and persuasive. Students will develop skills in speech, developing thesis, critical speaking, and analytical and expressive writing.
English 9 Honors
Students read a variety of American Literature to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Writing assignments emphasize organization in a variety of writing styles, while practical grammar study aims at improving and maturing sentence construction and active voice. There will be multiple opportunities for presentations and speeches. Weekly classwork and quizzes will continue through the year. Students are required to continue to demonstrate a high capacity for independent learning, critical thinking, and skills mastery. Students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their growth in this course. The overarching questions of the course are: What does it mean to be American? Christian? Human? And how do these identities intersect or conflict?
English 10 honors
Students will read and analyze a variety of American Literature to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Reading assignments will be frequent and in-depth. Writing assignments emphasize organization in a variety of writing styles, while practical grammar study aims at improving and maturing sentence construction and active voice and will be expected to show sophistication.There will be multiple opportunities for presentations and speeches. Weekly classwork and quizzes will continue throughout the year. Students are required to continue to demonstrate a high capacity for independent learning, critical thinking, and skills mastery.
Students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their growth in this course. The overarching questions of the course are: What does it mean to be American? Christian? Human? And how do these identities intersect or conflict? There will be a strong emphasis on literary analysis and building rhetorical skills in order to prepare these students for future AP courses.
Students read American Literature from a holistic perspective, delving into the authors’ backgrounds and the historical events that shaped their philosophies. Writing assignments emphasize a critical analysis of the authors’ beliefs based on tone, purpose, and techniques. When applicable, students will be asked to compare and contrast authors’ beliefs with a biblical worldview. Students will also gain confidence in public speaking/listening skills through the numerous projects and activities aligned with curriculum.
English 11: Advanced Placement Language and Composition
This is a college level course designed to give students multiple opportunities to read and analyze a variety of texts, all the while attempting to deepen their understanding of rhetorical knowledge and the "science" of language. Throughout the year, our efforts to determine what a given text might “mean” are paired with an equal emphasis on determining how that text manages to produce that meaning in language. Because these readings are intended to inform the students’ own growth as writers, students are encouraged to learn to read with a writer’s eye. Most readings are chosen to supplement their study of United States history to enrich cross-curricular connections. Students will primarily read non-fiction text from a breadth of authors, time periods, and backgrounds. These readings will include speeches, historical documents, diaries, memoirs, court decisions, essays, editorials, cartoons, advertisements (from various media), and films.
The course takes a process oriented approach to the instruction of writing, and students are presented with a variety of strategies for generating, drafting, and revising their formal essays. Students will apply various strategies as implemented by the authors of our texts while writing in various modes for different audiences and purposes.
This course operates at a college level and students will be held to those expectations. Additionally, students are expected to prepare for the AP English Language and Composition Exam, though it is not required that they ultimately take it. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
Students will read, discuss, and write about a substantial number of novels, short stories, poetry and essays from diverse cultures with an emphasis on British Literature in the first semester and Contemporary Issues in the second semester. A focus will be placed on themes including questioning conformity, the role of the individual in an increasingly global community, the importance of the past and how it shapes the future, as well as the shared human experiences of pain, loss, joy, love, etc. The novels read will include Picture of Dorian Gray, Much Ado About Nothing, The Scarlet Letter, The Help, Redeeming Love, The Hate U Give, Educated, etc. Students will write in a variety of modes including expository, narrative, persuasive, and analytical essays. Students will further develop skills in research, speech, and critical thinking.
English 12: Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
The overall goal of AP Literature and Composition is to engage students in becoming skilled readers and writers of multiple genres and rhetorical styles. Emphasis is placed on expository, analytical, and argumentative writing found in college classrooms and professional settings. Students will learn to critically read and analyze complex texts in order to write effectively with a mature and well-developed voice.
This course operates at a college level and students will be held to those expectations. Additionally, students are expected to prepare for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam, though it is not required that they ultimately take it. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
Intro to Computer Programming
Elective with no prerequisites and open to all grades.
This course acts as an introduction to the field of Computer Science. At the end of this course, students will be able to describe the history of computers, explain how computers work, build and employ problem solving skills, practice how to write code and ultimately create their own computer applications including designing and building their own video game. Students will apply common logic control flows, algorithms, and coding practices such as pair programming. Students will discover how they can use programming as an assistive tool for their daily lives. No prior knowledge of computer programming is required for this course.
Algebra 1 is a math course that teaches the basic algebraic concepts of working with signed numbers in the four operations, inequalities, using exponents, working with polynomials in the four operations, factoring, graphing linear and non-linear equations, using radicals, and simplifying rational expressions. Daily lessons are taught and reinforced by homework.
Geometry is the study of the “measure of the earth” (“geo”-earth and “metron”-measure). This lofty goal includes logical reasoning, formal proofs, constructions, the study of properties and relationships of geometric shapes, and the use of Algebra as a tool.
The first semester of Algebra 2 will review many of the concepts introduced in Algebra 1, specifically solving, factoring and graphing polynomial equations. In the second semester, the student is introduced to rational equations, rational exponents and radical notation. The course will also introduce logarithmic/exponential functions, conics, simple statistics.
Algebra 2 Honors
Prerequisite: Algebra 1 with a grade of B+ or higher
The first semester will review concepts introduced in Algebra I, specifically solving, factoring and graphing polynomial equations. An introduction into linear algebra will also be included. In the second semester, the student will be introduced to solving rational functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, conics, statistics and probability.
*Students planning to eventually take Pre-Calculus are encouraged to take this class over the regular Algebra 2 class.
This course is offered as an alternative to Pre-Calculus. It provides students with an introduction to important topics in statistics by focusing on the statistical thinking behind data collection and analysis. It helps students be more discerning consumers of statistics, teaching them to interpret the numbers in surveys, election polls, and medical studies. Topics include sampling, surveys, experimental design, organizing data, distributions, probability, and inference.
By definition: In American mathematics education, pre-calculus, an advanced form of secondary school algebra, is a foundational mathematical discipline. Pre-calculus is actually two separate courses: Algebra and Trigonometry. Pre-calculus prepares students for calculus the same way as pre-algebra prepares students for Algebra I. While pre-algebra teaches students many different fundamental algebra topics, pre-calculus does not involve calculus, but explores topics that will be applied in calculus. This course involves an in-depth study of trigonometry and advanced algebra, through graphing, polar and complex number systems, circular and inverse functions and applications. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for the credit.
Advanced Placement Calculus AB
By definition: Calculus (Latin, calculus, a small stone used for counting) is a branch in mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. It has two major branches, differential calculus, and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem of calculus. Calculus is the study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations. A course in calculus is a gateway to other, more advanced courses in mathematics devoted to the study of functions and limits, broadly called mathematical analysis. Calculus has widespread applications in science, economics, and engineering and can solve many problems for which algebra alone is insufficient. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for the credit.
Choir “Westside Voices”
Westside Voices is the non-auditioned, mixed gender introductory choir class for anyone interested in singing. Students in this class develop skills in vocal production, breath management, sight-reading, and music theory, as well as singing some of the world's greatest choral literature. Students chosen for our select mixed ensemble group, Soli Deo Gloria, join with our Westside Voices class to form our Concert Choir which competes in District and State events. In February, the choir competes at a State-Qualifying Festival. The Concert Choir also enjoys two retreats per year for the purposes of building unity and preparing for the State Championships. All retreats, concerts, and festivals have a mandatory attendance rule. Students selecting this course will be enrolled in Westside Voices and Concert Choir for the entire year.
Soli Deo Gloria
Soli is a mixed ensemble consisting of 10-16 singers that sings music from many genres, including pop, vocal jazz, choral, barbershop and contemporary Christian. This is considered Westside's varsity small vocal ensemble. Soli Deo Gloria participates in all Concert Choir activities with our Westside Voices class as well as their additional concerts. During the Christmas season, Soli performs many concerts around the Portland Metro area. Auditions for this ensemble are held each Spring for the coming year. Auditions consist of individual and group singing, as well as the possibility of some fundamental sight reading and music theory demonstration. Since several concerts are scheduled for this group outside of school time, the student must realize the commitment level must be very high to participate in this group. Students selected for this course will be enrolled in Soli for the entire year.
This course teaches musicianship with emphasis on phrasing, tone production, intonation, and rhythm. A variety of music is covered, giving the student a good basic repertoire of band music. Enrollment is open to all students with prior instrumental experience. Concert Band performs in several concerts throughout the school year and may perform as a pep band at select basketball games. Students selecting this course will be enrolled in Concert Band for the entire year.
"IGNITE" Music Worship Team
Worship Team is a class that will focus primarily on preparing and leading praise and worship for Westside’s weekly chapel meetings, as well as chapel meetings for other K-8 schools within the Westside community. Students will be required to demonstrate maturity in leadership, proficiency in singing, playing guitar, bass, drums or keyboards, as well as an understanding of contemporary worship music and the aspects of worship leading in order to qualify for the class. Proficiency will be demonstrated by tryout and application in the Spring for the upcoming school year. As a part of the team, students will gain practical experience in leadership, worship leading, preparing set lists, the logistical planning of a worship service, and the technical aspects of sound reinforcement, video projection, and lighting. Students selected for this course will be enrolled in Ignite for the entire year.
This course will cover basic strength training techniques and advanced dynamic fitness exercises. Students will learn and perform strength and fitness exercises on a regular basis. We will be doing a variety of exercises and workout styles to teach a range of fitness options. Occasionally we will have a unit that breaks the regular routine to get some differentiated training. Various sports will be played as well.
This laboratory class will undertake a study of matter and the changes it undergoes. Students will investigate properties of atomic particles to understand how macroscopic phenomena relates to sub-microscopic arrangements. Topics covered include atomic theory, atomic structure, periodic table arrangement and trends, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws, solutions, acids and bases, thermochemistry and reaction rates. General algebra skills are necessary and students are required to have a scientific calculator.
Advanced Placement Chemistry
As recommended by the College Board, AP Chemistry typically follows second-year algebra and high school chemistry. It prepares students to take the AP Chemistry test in the spring and begins where first-year chemistry leaves off. It involves a more detailed investigation into topics such as atomic theory and structure, acids and bases, chemical bonding and stoichiometry. Other topics covered include oxidation and reduction reactions, kinetics, equilibrium and thermodynamics. AP Chemistry laboratories are equivalent to those of typical college courses. It is a challenging college level course designed for students wishing to study health sciences, medicine, engineering and other science disciplines in college. Students should contact the teacher regarding the summer review assignment. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
This is a laboratory class which will provide an understanding of the world of living things. Students will study cell biology, the molecular basis of heredity, interdependence and classification of organisms, organization in living systems and evolution.
Advanced Placement Biology
This course is designed to be equivalent to two semesters of a college introductory level biology course. The pace and information covered in this course are much more rigorous than freshman biology. The class adheres to the standards instituted by the College Board for all AP courses and covers all of the topics in the AP Biology Course Description, which include chemistry of life, cell structure and function, cellular energetics, cell communication and cell cycle, heredity, gene expression and regulation, natural selection, and ecology. This is a laboratory class in which students
Anatomy & Physiology
This laboratory class will undertake an in-depth comparative study of the structure and function of the tissues and systems of the body. Requirements include an animal dissection as well as a field trip to cadaver lab at George Fox University. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
This course will cover common themes of physics such as mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound and light, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. Most importantly, this course will promote critical thinking. Students will discover that they can comprehend complex material while refining their math skills in a practical way. In addition, this course will build students’ competency in the process of scientific investigation and in their ability to distinguish between “good science” and “bad science”. Also, students will increase their laboratory safety and experimentation skills through conducting and observing various laboratory experiments. Ultimately, each student’s understanding of the Maker of the universe will be strengthened as we view His creation through the eyes of science.
Advanced Placement Physics 1
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electric charge and electric force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound.
Students should have completed Geometry and be concurrently taking Algebra II or an equivalent course. Although the Physics 1 course includes basic use of trigonometric functions, this understanding can be gained either in the concurrent math course or in the AP Physics 1 course itself. An understanding of quadratics is also required. Students should have a strong background in algebra and geometry as these skills are used throughout the physics course. There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
Intro to Engineering Design
Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3-D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work using real-world standards.
Through both individual and collaborative team activities, projects, and problems, students apply systems thinking and consider various aspects of engineering design including material selection, human-centered design, manufacturability, assemblability and sustainability. Students develop skills in technical representation and documentation, especially through 3D computer modeling using a Computer Aided Design (CAD) application. As part of the design process, students produce precise 3D-printed engineering prototypes using an additive manufacturing process. Student-developed testing protocols drive decision-making and iterative design improvements.
(new) PRINCIPLES OF ENGINEERING
Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, energy and power, the strength of structures and materials, control systems, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and communicating their solutions to their peers and members of the professional community. This survey course exposes students to some of the major concepts that they will encounter in a post secondary engineering course of study and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and technology.
Advanced Placement World History
United States History
Advanced Placement United States History
This Advanced Placement course uses the same primary textbook as the regular class. This college-level survey course follows a lecture and discussion format which will emphasize cause/effect and relating the past to what is happening today. Students should sense that today’s current events are the result of past influences. The fall semester project is a debate featuring Oregon ballot measures (initiatives or referendums on even years or current event issues on odd years). The spring semester project is an interview with someone who spent part of their teen years during the Great Depression or World War 2. During the second semester there is also a short research paper concurrently assigned with the junior English class. We read the following books: Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick, 1776 by David McCullough, Presidential Courage by Michael Beschloss, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Our text is Making America (Cengage 2019). There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
Advanced Placement European History
Students are an integral part of the learning process through discussions, group projects and paired work. Some of these include a Reformation Roundtable, Speed dating, creating a flat absolute monarch, and designing a cereal box for the Italian and German Unification period. Don’t know what these are? Become a part of European history and discover the European world from the Renaissance to present day.
There is an additional fee paid to GFU for college credit.
Introduction to Business
This is a basic business course designed to acquaint students with the activities associated with a business. Students will gather a basic understanding of general business, economics, entrepreneurship, business communications, business ethics, the government’s role in business, marketing, and business finance. Overall, the course gives students a broad exposure to business operations and a solid background for additional business courses.
Introduction to Art
Introduction to Art is an entry-level art class focusing on art fundamentals, color theory, art history, and the elements and principles of design. Students will gain experience working with 2D and 3D art. Types of skills learned include: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, collage, and mixed media. Students will learn to create, critique, evaluate, and appreciate works of art throughout the course.
Advanced Art is the second level of art offered at Westside. Advanced Art continues to focus on student’s development in various art skills and media while developing the individual artistic expression of each student. Types of skills expanded on from the Introduction course include: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, collage, and mixed media. Studio work will develop and reinforce student understandings of the elements and principles of design, art techniques and art history while creating, critiquing, and evaluating works of art.
AP Studio Art: 2D Design
AP Studio art is the most advanced art course offered at Westside requiring at least two years of art previously. This course focuses on preparing students for the AP Studio Art Portfolio through a rigorous and challenging curriculum. AP Studio Art portfolios are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art and developing their own portfolio. AP Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit a portfolio for evaluation at the end of the school year. Students will produce 20 works of art throughout the year that satisfy the requirements of the Selected Works and Sustained Investigation sections of the AP Studio Art 2D Design Portfolio.
With focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, this course will use the Adobe Creative Apps collection of professional-class, industry leading digital design tools to explore the basic principles of digital design in the 21st century. Students will develop a wide variety of digital design skills while implementing aspects of the elements and principles of art. The end result will be acquiring skills and practical experience in real-life design applications, potentially unlocking the doors to success in the world of digital design.
Yearbook is a course for students who want to gain a conceptual as well as an experiential understanding of the process and completion of a yearbook. This course focuses on the instruction, creation, and practice in putting together a creative and unique yearbook publication that represents the Westside Christian High School community. Students must have available time outside of the school day. Application required.
French 1 presents an introduction to the French language and the countries and cultures of the people who speak it. Over the course of the year, we will learn how to engage in the target language at a novice-mid level about several topics, including school, family, friends, and pastimes. We will also take a look at the lives of the French-speaking people around the world, even bringing several of their cultural experiences into our classroom.
(NEW) French 2
French 2 builds on the introduction to the French language and the countries and cultures of the people who speak it that was started in French 1. Over the course of the year, we will further develop our ability to hold conversations at a novice-high level about several topics, including travel, food, and daily routines. We will also take a look at the lives of the Francophone people around the world, even bringing several of their cultural experiences into our classroom.
Spanish 1 presents an introduction to the Spanish language and the countries and cultures of the people who speak it. Over the course of the year, we will learn how to engage in the target language at a novice-mid level about several topics, including school, family, friends, and pastimes. We will also take a look at the lives of the Spanish-speaking people around the world, even bringing several of their cultural experiences into our classroom.
Spanish 2 builds on the introduction to the Spanish language and the countries and cultures of the people who speak it that was started in Spanish I. Over the course of the year, we will further develop our ability to engage in the target language at a novice-high level about several topics, including travel, food, clothes, and daily routines. We will also take a look at the lives of the Spanish-speaking people around the world, even bringing several of their cultural experiences into our classroom.
Spanish 3 is a continued study of the Spanish language and culture. Emphasis is placed on increased vocabulary and grammatical mastery in speaking, reading, listening and writing. Previously taught grammar concepts are reviewed and expanded upon. New concepts, including the subjunctive, are introduced. In the area of speaking, students strengthen their ability to talk about their lives and everyday events, including events in the past. Students read novels in Spanish that explore cultural topics. This class is an important tool to allow students to solidify and build upon the base of knowledge gained in the previous two years. A communicative approach is taken to this course, so students will experience immersion in Spanish at least 90% of the time.
Spanish 4 is the culmination of the first three years of study in Spanish 1- 3. Increased emphasis is placed on communication, cultural studies, and critical thinking. In this course, students will continue to attain proficiency in communicating about events occurring in all different time frames. Students will be given ample opportunities to put the knowledge gained in Spanish 1 through 3 into practice through structured classroom activities, projects, and outside assignments. In addition, students will attain a higher level of proficiency through the mastery of new complex grammatical constructions, which will aid their understanding of spoken Spanish and Spanish-language literature and film. Topics include; professions and future planning, politics and current events, community life, religion and sharing faith experiences, and travel. There is an optional additional fee paid to NNU for college credit.
Spanish 5 continues to build on the skills developed in Spanish 1-4. A continued emphasis will be given to speaking, listening, reading and writing the language, and culture, literature, and current events will also be incorporated. In this course, students will continue to increase their proficiency in communicating about events occurring in all different time frames and about increasingly complex topics. This course is tailored to combine areas of student interest with tasks needed for college-level Spanish, such as writing argumentative essays and formal emails. Vocabulary topics include travel, global challenges, current events, and contemporary life.
A communicative approach is taken to this course, so students will experience immersion in Spanish at all times.
Academic coaching is designed to provide assistance with the skills, habits, and attitudes necessary for success in all Westside Christian High School courses. The primary aim for this class is for students to develop a strong sense of self-accountability and self-advocacy. While there will be opportunities for students to complete homework assignments in class (only when we have completed the day’s task,) this course is not a study hall. A number of pertinent topics will be discussed including, motivation, goal-setting, time-management, organization, learning styles, listening, reading, note-taking, writing, and test-taking strategies. Some of these will be addressed in a class-wide context and others will be addressed in a one-on-one basis, depending on the unique needs of individual student. Weekly one-on-one ParentsWeb check-ups are designed to keep the student fully aware of and moving forward in their academic performance. Students with a GPA above 3.0 are not eligible to join this class.