Core Academic Courses

Art Department (Fundamentals of Art/Ceramics/Painting): One of the most positive characteristics of teaching art at Face to Face is that the students have a period of time to express themselves, have fun, relax, ask questions, solve problems, talk to peers and teachers, develop interpersonal skills, as well as learn a new art form. The students love to try working in new mediums, and one of the art department’s greatest strengths is a well rounded and extensive art background. Students are taught the history and meaning of what they are creating, bringing relevance to their lives. It is also rewarding to watch students get excited and achieve a goal that they did not think they were capable of. They build fundamental life skills by thinking creatively and producing a product that they are proud of.

English Department (English/Literature/Writing): Despite a wide range of abilities, each student is able to excel at his or her pace in the English classroom. Class content includes many different topics that encourage discussion-based learning about things like current events and other issues young people care about. Each student is able to show learning through a wide variety of activities with an emphasis on creative and self-reflective writing.

Math Department (Algerbra/Geometry/Algebra II/Pre Calculus): In addition to the Accelerated Math program and a set of TI – 83 Plus graphing calculators, the math department utilizes Prentice Hall Mathematics Algebra 2 textbooks and its curriculum. Recent state assessments have shown student improvements in basic skill development in math, and “adequate yearly progress” on the MCA–II math for Grade 11 two years in a row. The department also strived to provide a better learning environment for math by having more staff in the math classroom. Frequently, students are able to work in small groups of 3-4 students per staff member.

Physical Education Department (Life Fitness/Wellness & Recreation): Within the Physical Education classes, an ongoing success is that students feel comfortable participating in activities and have a high level of enjoyment. The students are able to practice teamwork and cooperation, as well as techniques of problem solving and compromise. The lessons are differentiated so that every student is able to be successful in the learning objectives. Classroom lessons begin with a technologically-assisted activity using portable computer carts in the classroom, followed by a short written and discussion activity. Many times we are able to use the local Park and Recreation facility to provide a safe and adequate environment for the physical activities. Both students and staff are able to share in relationship building and the learning process.

Science Department (Biology/Life Sciences): Students in our science classes display a wide range of abilities and interest. Using cooperative learning groups has allowed all students to be more successful. Math is incorporated into our lessons; measuring, graphing, interpretation of data, and various calculations are imbedded. The structure of the classes has developed a consistent rhythm and tone that provide a stable learning environment for our students. The introduction of technology has also increased student success by allowing vibrant multi-media presentations that help hold the attention of our students. The recent addition of laptop computers has allowed students to engage in virtual labs and experiments.

Social Studies Department (History/Psychology/Economics/Civics): Social Studies lessons are engaging in increasingly evaluative and analytical activities where the material is internalized and thought out, versus simply “how can I earn my participation points on this assignment?” The greatest success is to see the overall maturity level of the students rise, which results in higher level activities and a greater understanding of subjects being taught by the Social Studies Department. Courses are taught in a rotation: Monday/Tuesday = History; 3 years of American History, years 4-5 are World History. Wednesday/Thursday classes are on a 4 year cycle; Year 1 = Civics/American Government, Year 2 = Economics, Year 3 = Geography, Year 4 = Psychology.

Special Education Department: The Special Education Department continues to develop its services in supporting students in the classroom and in post high school transitional plans. Special Ed staff join math classes and provide afternoon study skills classes for Special Education students. Career Explorations is offered to help support students in planning for post high school. In addition to our Special Education teachers, the Department works with two School Social Workers who are able to help link students to community resources. Face to Face has had a partenership with Rehabilitation Vocational Services since 2008-09, which supports Special Education students with individualized transitional goals and services.

College in the Schools In connection with the University of Minnesota, Academy students are able to earn both high school and college credit at no charge during their regular school day. Courses offered are Writing Studio and College Algebra. Both courses are taught on campus by Academy teachers. Field days at the University of Minnesota are also a part of the program.

Elective Courses

Community Activities: At the end of every school week, students have several different options within our school community about how to spend the period that makes the most sense in order to end the week successfully. These options include access to the Art or Computer Lab in order to complete assignments or projects. Other offerings are participating in athletic or cultural events like a game of basketball at the rec center or listening to a guest speaker. The Academy may arrange a special field trip during this hour as well.

Community Leadership: In Community Leadership students learn through giving service to others and reflecting on that service through journals and class discussions. Students help others in fields such as: care centers, elementary schools, food shelf, or other locations. Class discussions provide opportunities to reflect on these experiences and to study principles of human behavior that apply to work with others. This volunteer class is a part of the WE movement that is dedicated to change at home, abroad, and within our communities.

Film Study: In this class, the flexibility of the curriculum allows for the success of students with a wide range of ability levels. The class structure includes vocabulary, watching a segment of a film, then analyzing the film using discussion, writing, art, or small group projects. This allows students of different ability levels to participate, and is the perfect environment for differentiated instruction due to the small class size.

LGBTQ Studies: This course is designed to promote awareness of LGBTQ issues in the context of contemporary society. In addition, the course covers topics related to the history of the LGBTQ movement. This course also collaborates and interacts with the Face to Face community to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues.

Senior Seminar: Every student approaching graduation in his or her senior year must enroll in Senior Seminar. This class offers support both in completing high school on time and successfully and preparing a post-secondary transition plan. College options are explored while conducting in-depth research about the current job market. Each student also prepares a speech to deliver at graduation.

Spanish Club: This club serves as a means for students to learn the fundamentals of the Spanish language. Through lots of repetition, students learn greetings, pronunciation, and basic vocabulary for navigating the language. We also watch Spanish telenovelas and cook some Latin cuisine.

Stress Management: This course aims to answers questions such as: What do we do about stress in our lives? How do we deal with it? How do we prevent it? This class helps students understand the origins of their stress and provides practical approaches for reducing stress. Thus, improving health and emotional well being.

Women’s Group: This class explores how gender, and our other social identities, impact how women interact in society. It considers the ways in which women are perceived, and how stereotypes impact our lives. In addition, the class takes time to celebrate gender and the different ways we choose to express it.

Yoga/Mindfulness: This class guides students through physical, emotional, and vocal exercises to enhance calm, focus, and relaxation. Through creativity and using self-reflection, students learn to regulate and listen to their bodies.