e3 Civic High School

Academics » Course Selection 2014-2015

Course Selection 2014-2015

Course Selections and Descriptions



Humanities 1

Humanities 1 is the interdisciplinary study of English Language Arts and Civics, the study of our rights and duties as citizens. Humanities is the study of what makes us an individual and what makes us a community. Using the 21st century innovation skills of critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration across networks, leading by influence, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurship, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information, and curiosity and imagination, our students will explore what it means to be human. They will closely investigate and interact with complex texts and deepen their skills in writing common-core aligned narrative, information, and argument texts.

Humanities 2

Humanities 2 is the interdisciplinary study of English Language Arts, and World History, which studies major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present. They trace the rise of democracy and come to realize that these ideals are often achieved at a high price and remain vulnerable. Students develop an insight into the historical roots of current world issues, informed by critically analyzing course content. By considering multiple accounts of events from a variety of perspectives, and relating them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts, students will develop a greater understanding of their world.

Humanities 3

This course is the interdisciplinary study of English Language Arts and U.S. History, which will examine the promise, fulfillment, and reimagining of the American Dream. Students will trace the foundations of the country, from revolutionaries to immigrants, and try to define what it means to be American. We will analyze not only primary sources of historical records, but also the literature and poetry inspired by historical events.


Mathematics 1 - Integrated

This course establishes the relevance of mathematics by connecting an abstract understanding of Algebra and Geometry with practical implementation and problem-solving. Aligned to the common core standards, mathematics prepares students to use linear and quadratic functions to model trends, to draw critical relationships, and to reveal important implications in authentic data. This course is also a comprehensive look at the study of proofs, parallel and perpendicular lines, the coordinate plane, triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, circles, trigonometry, congruence and similarity, surface area, volume and transformations, facilitating students to use coordinate geometry and trigonometry to solve design problems.

Mathematics 2 - Integrated

This course is an overview of fundamental mathematical skills relating to functions, equations, inequalities, probability, radicals, absolute value, exponents, polynomials, logarithms, complex numbers, the binomial theorem, rational functions, conics and matrices. This course prepares students to understand, model and analyze real-world problems by solving, graphing and comparing polynomial, trigonometric and exponential functions. This course also prepares students to use probability and trigonometry to draw conclusions and make decisions. Applications of topics will emphasize critical thinking and incorporate the use of technology. Moreover, students will be prepared for advanced studies in mathematics.

Mathematics 3 - Integrated

Math 3 prepares students for higher level mathematics course work. The focus is on understanding the different properties of various functions, such as quadratic, cubic, quartic, exponential, radical, rational, logarithmic, and trigonometric function, on the coordinate plane.  In addition, students will learn arithmetic and geometric sequences as it applies patterns and predictions.  Geometric topics will cover circles and quadrilaterals as they are applied on the coordinate plane.  Students will also learn about variance and standard deviation as it applies to the normal distribution curve.  This course helps students to apply mathematics to real-world applications and situations through design and analysis in a project-based setting.

BioMedical Engineering / Science

Medical Biology

Medical Biology is a UC approved Biology course with an emphasis on the clinical aspects of Biology. Meeting the same state standards as a regular Biology course, Medical Biology is the entry-level science for the Medical Pathway.  Students enroll in this class at the 9th grade level. Every unit and lab assignment in the Medical Biology curriculum relates to health, the human condition, and the health care professions.

Medical Biology is an experimental science, with the focus on molecular, cellular, and body system interactions.  This reflects the job market, where thousands of new jobs are being created in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, bioinformatics, medicine, and related molecular biology fields. In addition, citizens in the new millennium will face an increasing number of science related issues such as stem cell research, global warming, cloning, and gene manipulation. This highly contextualized method meets all California State Standards and is an approved “D” Biology course as required by the UC and CSU universities.


The course will consist of approximately 50% Biology; 35% Chemistry; and 15% Investigation and Experimentation. The course will combine topics in biology and chemistry theory with practical application of biotechnology skills and laboratory exercises. A special emphasis will be placed on bacterial transformation, protein purification, and quality control practices. Under California’s Health Science and Medical Technology Sector is the Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway; several of those standards are reflected in this course.   

This course will expose students to the role of biotechnology in society; help them discover its relevance to their lives; guide them in developing the basic skills necessary in academic and industry lab settings; encourage students to pursue higher education in biotechnology; and encourage them to see any one of San Diego County’s biotechnology companies as a viable career option.


Biomedical Chemistry

Chemistry (Medicine and Health) is a rigorous college-preparatory science course designed to collectively mentor students interested in exploring a career in health and medicine.  This course is based on the California State Standards for Chemistry which were developed so that every student would have access to a uniform quality and quantity of information in science.  Students will be expected to pursue mastery of the standards with problem-solving, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning skills.

Anatomy/ Physiology Honors

This course is designed to be 12th grade, advanced study of the human body for students with an interest in pursuing a career in a health-related field.  Topics include anatomical structures, physiological systems, and body functions.  Students will acquire skills used in the classification of data, experience in oral and written communication of data, and skills in drawing logical inferences and predicting outcomes.  Students will apply the principle of physiology to human health and well-being and evaluate the applications and career implications of physiology and anatomy principles. This is an A-G UC-approved lab science, with a pre-requisite of Medical Chemistry.

Visual & Performing Arts


Learn the fundamentals of healthy vocal production while experiencing the joy of ensemble singing in two-, three- and four-part harmony. No experience necessary. e3 students participating in Choir are invited to participate in the San Diego Public Library Singers, a new singing chorus designed to serve both the school and the community. Explore the rich cultural heritage of choral singing from the Renaissance through the Baroque, Classical, Romantic periods, up to modern pop and jazz.

Multimedia Art

Multimedia is the integration of photos, video, sound and text to express emotions, communicate messages and demonstrate creativity. In this semester-long class, students will explore several different ways of expressing themselves, as well as tackling social and community-based issues, all by developing and utilizing the elements of visual arts in a world that craves digital media in all career pathways.


Learn the fundamentals of reading music, basic piano technique, improvisation, choral harmony, the elements of composition and a survey of musical instrument families. No experience necessary. Students will learn to write their own melodies and compositions and develop a better understanding of the language of music. Learn to use the piano as both a practical and artistic instrument.

Orchestra (Instrumental Ensemble)

Join other students in an instrumental ensemble custom-fitted to the e3 population. No experience necessary. Music from varied sources will be explored, including compositions from early orchestral works through the classics, chamber music, and film music. Special attention to both individual and group performance will be emphasized.

World Language

Mandarin 1

This is an introductory course for non-Chinese speaking students who until now have had little in-depth exposure to the intricacies of Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese culture. The main objective of Mandarin 1 is to develop a strong foundation in the Mandarin Chinese language in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The listening and speaking skills in high-frequency common communicative settings will be developed through problem-based and project-based learning. Students will also be able to accurately write and depict Chinese characters, and effectively develop their phonetic understand of Pinyin. In addition, Chinese culture will be incorporated throughout the curriculum to help students build multicultural proficiency.

Mandarin 2

This is a continuation of Chinese 1/2 C. The course is designed to prepare students to meet the second language requirement for high school graduation and college. It is also open to students who wish to  pursue their personal interests in Chinese language and culture. The class is conducted in a learner-centered environment where Pinyin, characters, word usage, sentence patterns, and grammar are taught. Students will improve the understanding of the connection between the language and culture.

Spanish 1

Spanish 1 is an interactive introduction to Spanish emphasizing communicative-based listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish and the rudiments of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will learn to use Spanish to communicate basic daily life in predictable common settings.

Spanish 2

This course is designed for students who have taken Spanish 1 and wish to continue their Spanish studies. Non-native speaking students work together to develop and enhance integrated skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. Instruction will emphasize listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in preparation for advanced work. Students will be able to express themselves at a more advanced level in present and past tenses. Additional emphasis will be focused on reading comprehension in the target language.

Health, Fitness & Wellness

This course will integrate health and nutrition science issues relevant to the modern-day teenage society. Students will strengthen civic leadership talents by providing solutions to teenage health issues through problem-based, project-based learning.  Students will present their findings to the public following the completion of their projects.  Students will also perform daily challenging physical fitness activities which develop self-esteem, internal motivation, and leadership skills necessary for a future leader.  

eBlock Course Descriptions

ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentoring

The ACE Mentor Program is a form of informal education that is conducted outside the normal classroom and that is led by volunteers (mentors) who are highly skilled in their own fields but who are not necessarily trained teachers. The program exposes participants to real-life work situations through programmatic activities, tours, regular interchanges with active professionals, and development of final projects that mimic the process of designing and building a structure of some sort.

This program is designed to enlighten and increase the awareness of high school students to career opportunities in architecture, construction and engineering and related areas of the design/construct industry through mentoring; and provide scholarship opportunities for students in an inclusive manner reflective of the diverse school population.

AP Biology

Biology is the study of Life. This course provides an advanced study of Biology through exciting research projects and labs.  It is recommended for students who intend to take the AP Biology Exam in 2015 or are considering studying Biology at the college level.  Key biological concepts that will be covered in the course include basic biochemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism and energetics, reproduction, heredity, molecular genetics, evolution, ecology, classification, plant structure and function and anatomy and physiology.  Primary source articles, selected college level texts and online resources will guide the course. AP Biology is a rigorous and demanding course, which is the equivalent of an introductory college biology course. Content will be covered in more depth and greater expectations will be placed on interpretation and analysis of information than previous biology courses. In addition, statistical analysis of data and modeling of concepts will be expected. A significant amount of studying must be completed at home to allow time for discussion, labs, and inquiry during class time. The new AP Biology curriculum encompasses 4 ‘Big ideas’, with Essential Knowledge and Process Skills that support each one.

Art Design
Visual Art and Design is a traditional art class that incorporates traditional studio arts with the addition of digital tools.  Along with paper and paint, we use computers, software programs, scanners, and printers. As with all art classes that are project-based, students at all levels are able to succeed in Visual Art and Design, a long as they commit themselves to the art-making process.  Visual Art and Design is designed for students who are interested in developing art from a design and digital perspective. General computer experience is a prerequisite, but no prior knowledge of the particular software programs used in the class is required.  Everyone can create art. Because of the project-based nature of the class, students at all levels will be able to learn at their own pace and create meaningful pieces to add to their portfolio.


This course offers test preparation specific to the CAHSEE. Sessions provide students with review and practice for the different testing sections. The student is given the opportunity to review any areas of struggle that are specific to his/her needs. Students will take several practice examinations and review sample questions from the exam to prepare for passing the CAHSEE.

Civic Leadership

The students in the Civic Leadership e-Block will explore complex problems that affect our community and develop the knowledge, experience and leadership skills needed to make a positive impact in the world. Through hands-on learning, students are challenged with applying their skills in real-world settings. Over the course of the year, Civic Leadership students are responsible for planning school-wide events, managing the school store, creating a school-wide election system, and for representing e3 as civic leaders in the community. All e-Block lessons are designed to support our e3 emerging leaders now and to prepare them to be a successful professional in the future. We will achieve our course goals and objectives by studying different leadership styles, honing public speaking and writing skills, and meeting with government, business and nonprofit leaders to learn from their experiences, perspectives, and advice for young people who want to create change. Civic Leadership students have a very important and action-oriented role at e3!

Community Classroom (Workplace Internships)

Community Classroom offers the opportunity for students to prepare for their Internship experience. Before being placed in a workplace environment, students learn the workplace readiness skills necessary to be employable in the future. Workplace readiness skills are transferable to different work situations. Workplace readiness training helps fill the gaps between the skills workers' currently possess and the skills needed on the job. Students will learn how to fill out a job application, develop a resume, and interview for a job. In addition, in-depth discussions will ensure that students understand the expectations in an Internship.

English Language Development (ELD)

In this course, students will enhance their English abilities by focusing upon deep reading analysis, rich vocabulary enhancement, practical writing development, and clear verbal communication skills. Students will practice the arts of active listening, analytical reading, collaborative communication, and effective writing on a daily basis. As students explore these concepts, they will work within a collaborative project-based learning environment where they will use language skills to create tangible products that they will present and display to their academic peers and to the community at large. In addition to classroom activities, students will also be guided by the instructor to utilize the downtown San Diego area as an active classroom in order to further develop students’ interpersonal communication skills and to provide practical life experiences in which students can practice their language abilities.

Humanities Acceleration (APEX)

The "English Credit Recovery" course serves for two purposes with APEX curriculum: 1) Students can recover English credit if they failed Humanities course either in 9th or 10th grade; 2) Students can get ahead in English by taking APEX English course, including advanced ones. The APEX curriculum that we use are UC a-g approved. Students may take one course at a time; it's possible for them to take multiple courses in one year depending on their learning pace.

Introduction to Computer Science

This class focuses on foundational computer science concepts  and computational practices using an inquiry-based approach. There will special emphasis on The Maker Education Initiative whose mission is "to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making."

Introduction to Political Science

This course is an introduction to the field of Political Science. Emphasis is placed on the concepts and methodologies used in the study of political institutions, political participation, public opinion, and the international political system. Topics also include a survey of political theory and the history of American political ideology and culture. This course is intended for students hoping to major  in political science and/or those interested in the field of political science.

Journalism & Yearbook

The Journalism/Yearbook course offers students the opportunity to explore their talents in photography, graphic design, journalistic writing, and editing. Students will apply these skills by producing a creative and innovative e3 Civic High yearbook. They will gain real-world experience by working effectively as a team to complete this important year-long publication project.

Mathematics Acceleration (APEX)

This course is designed to help students who want to strengthen math skills and also students who want to recover credit due to a failed class. Math Acceleration utilizes an online school program which will allow students to work at their own pace. Students are able to recover as many credits as they can in the span of a year. Students will also be able to strengthen their math skills and become stronger math students.

Music Performance

The e3 Prep Choir is a mixed choral ensemble exclusively for freshmen. Students will learn the fundamentals of choral singing, reading music and harmony. There will be one mandatory public performance each semester. The e3 Prep Orchestra is an instrumental ensemble exclusively for freshmen, comprised of the following band/orchestra instruments: violin, viola, cello, contrabass, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, baritone, trombone, tuba and percussion. Students will learn instrumental fundamentals, ensemble playing and individual proficiency.

Programming/ Web Design

The Web Design course focuses on the three main elements of developing a successful website. This course is broken down into three parts: HTML5, CSS3, and javascript. The first part of the course will cover the basic ideas and fundamentals of HTML5.  Students will be introduced to the structure of an HTML file, creating text, lists, links, tables, forms and other markups. The second part of the course will focus on the design aspect of developing web pages. This will include fundamentals such as color, layout, transitions, and animations. The last part of the course will be focused on javascripting. This web-based programming language will allow web designers to have better control of the layout as well as adding an important element to webpages--user interactions. Students will learn the basic foundations to programming: variables, functions, conditional statements, and loops.  


Robotics is the branch of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots. In the robotics course, we will research the evolution of robotics over the last century and discuss applications of robotics evident in everyday life. Students will participate in a robotics competition and will build and program an autonomous robot that can perform a variety of tasks. Students will learn c++ and javascript programming language in order to program their robots, and will understand how certain hardware and electrical circuits are used in the building of the robot.

SAT/ACT English Language Arts Prep

The SAT/ACT English Prep course will prepare students to take the SAT and ACT exam for admissions to colleges and universities nationwide. Given that these exams have become crucial in determining who goes to college and who is admitted to the school of their choice. It is important that students become familiarized with both exams. Aside from introducing the exams to the students, the course will also focus on the exam procedures, the benefits of taking the SAT/ACT in high school, and the multiple steps involved in preparing for the test. ℮³ Civic High is preparing our students for higher education and greater educational opportunities, both of which require a proficient score in the English portion of the SAT/ACT exam. The course will help prepare students for this pivotal test before the exam date. Aside from beginning the students’ preparation as early as possible, the course will also teach students how to find the right study tools. Students will be presented with a variety of materials that have been specifically designed to maximize their study time and their ability to work smart.

Speech & Debate

This is a course designed to help build and develop speaking, writing, and thinking skills with the ultimate goal of having each student actively compete on e3 Civic High’s speech and debate team. While this course will explore various speech, speaking, and debating styles, students are encouraged to focus on and develop their skills in at least one competitive speaking and debating category.

Study Skills

The Study Skills course at e3 Civic High School will focus on acquiring learning strategies and study skills that will help you increase your understanding of concepts, improve your test scores, earn better grades, and prepare you to be the best you can be in college and your future career. Some of the skills that will set you up for success that will be targeted in the class are: understanding what you read, breaking down and remembering difficult vocabulary words, expressing your thoughts in writing, listening and speaking skills, being able to analyze and use critical thinking skills needed to solve real-world problems, and math calculation, and math reasoning.  We will also work on building team cooperation, increasing focus and maintaining attention, staying organized, managing time and meeting deadlines for assignments, and developing review and study skills to do better on tests.

Sustainable Urban Agriculture

This is a year-long course that involves a combination of discussions, labs, food preparation, outdoor gardening and other hands-on activities. The primary focus of this class will be the outdoor component where we are working in the garden. In this class we will explore gardening in an urban (city) context while focusing on ways that we (and the human population as a whole) impact the environment. This class is worth 1 unit of elective credit toward graduation.

Community College Courses

Personal Growth 120

This course teaches success strategies to enhance academic and lifelong learning skills.  Students explore topics such as motivation and attitudes, values, goal setting, decision-making processes, critical and creative thinking, personal health topics, interpersonal communication, developmental psychology, and learning and personality theories, as well as other techniques for maximizing their abilities to succeed as lifelong learners.  Students apply these topics as they relate to their self-development as integrated physiological and psychological entities and acquire strategies to effectively deal with issues in their personal lives and educational and career plans.

(Coming Spring 2015)