Departments and Courses
College Prep English I 1 Credit
The first semester of this freshwoman level course will focus on an in-depth study of English grammar: the parts of speech, phrases and clauses, their uses and their function in different types of sentences. The second semester will focus on paragraph writing and will culminate in the three-paragraph essay. Throughout the year, students will read several novels, poems, and short stories and explore the theme of “coming of age.” Through class discussions, structured cooperative learning activities, and individual presentations, the student will develop her oral communication skills.
Honors English I 1 Credit
Honors English I is the advanced-level English class for Freshwomen. Students are expected to read and respond to literature in complex ways and to demonstrate independent thinking. Through the study of primary sources and other supplementary readings, students will study literary themes in depth. Classes are based more on discussions of relevant issues rather than summary and review, and students will give frequent oral presentations to help guide class discussions.
College Prep English II 1 Credit
This sophomore level course is designed to further develop the language arts skills introduced in English I: composition, literary analysis and oral communication. The students will build on research, writing, and documentation skills by submitting a research paper. The students will explore a variety of themes through a variety of literary genres including short story, nonfiction, fiction, drama, poetry, and novel. Through class discussions, cooperative learning activities, and oral presentations, the student will develop oral skills. Field trips, media and creative projects further enhance the course.
Honors English II 1 Credit
Honors English II is the advanced-level English class for sophomores. Students are expected to read and respond to literature in complex ways and to demonstrate independent thinking. Through the study of primary sources and other supplementary readings, students will study literary themes and techniques in depth. Classes are based more on discussions of relevant issues rather than summary and review, and students will give frequent oral presentations to help guide class discussions.
College Prep English III 1 Credit
This is the standard junior level English class. Students read literature in a variety of genres that represent diverse American perspectives and focus thematically on identity and relationships. Through extensive self-selected reading and intensive guided reading of class selections, students improve in areas such as grammar, spelling and vocabulary while increasing their knowledge base of literary forms, elements and devices. They augment their aural and oral skills by participating in group discussions and class presentations. They also practice using the writing process to develop their composition abilities in the areas of personal and creative writing as well as informative and persuasive essays. Two major compositions are required: a summary research paper and a thesis-centered literary analysis. Because all juniors are required to take the ACT, instruction in test preparation and strategies is included in the course.
Honors English III 1 Credit
Honors English III is the advanced-level English class for juniors. Students are expected to read and respond to more complex literature while demonstrating independent thinking. There are more supplemental enrichment readings for class texts, including primary sources, and the writing assignments require more in-depth critical analysis. Classes are based more on discussion of relevant issues than review and summary, and student take on an active leadership role by forming teaching panels for whole class learning. Two major compositions are required: a summary research paper and a thesis-centered literary analysis. Because all juniors are required to take the ACT, instruction in test preparation and strategies is included in the course.
College Prep English IV 1 Credit
This is the standard senior English course. Students will read literature in a variety of genres representing voices from around the world and focus on “Big Questions,” helping them to broaden their own perspectives and to move toward global citizenship. Building on previous language arts study, students sharpen their grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension skills through extensive self-selected and intensive guided reading experiences. They augment their aural and oral skills by participating in group discussions and class presentations. In addition, they write in a variety of personal and academic modes to prepare to meet college and career goals. Two major compositions are required: a summary research paper and a thesis-centered literary analysis.
AP English IV 1 Credit
This senior level course is designed to meet the curricular requirements listed in the College Board’s AP English Course Description. The focus of this course is on the analysis, interpretation, and synthesis of literature. In short, this means you will read various authors in various genres and time periods. You will then be expected to examine these pieces of literature from the points of view of both the author and the reader. Through class discussions, formal and informal presentations, and individual responses, you will produce written responses to these works of literature. The course will emphasize the revision of these writing assignments, and you will serve as guides for one another throughout this process. In addition, you will be regularly assessed on vocabulary words and definitions and on definitions and applications of literary terms.
This course has the “AP” designation, which means that it is designed to be similar to a college-level English course. Note that an AP course is different from an honors- or regular-level course, and there are high expectations for the time and effort you will put in to this coursework. One important goal of this class is, of course, to prepare you to take and pass the AP exam. Each student is required to take the AP English Literature Exam. AP exams are scored on a scale from 1-5. A score of 3 or better on the AP English Literature exam will generally earn you college credit for a comparable course at your chosen university.
Publications 1 Credit
Publications is a year-long junior-senior elective course that builds skills in written communication and visual design, with the final product being the Our Lady of Tepeyac 2020 Yearbook. The main focuses of the course are: (a) journalistic writing; (b) basic photography; (c) layout and desktop publishing; (d) project management, and (e) visual art and digital imaging. This course equips students to manage complex projects and navigate professional-grade publishing software.
Catapult/Title I No Credit
This course is open to students from all grade levels and who live in the City of Chicago. Students must have Reading and/or Math scores below the 50th Percentile. Students will be taught Reading, Math, and Language Arts in small class sizes. Technology will also be incorporated into the class curriculum.
College Prep Algebra I 1 Credit
This freshman level course begins with a review of basic mathematics which includes adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing—in whole numbers, fractions, decimals and positive/negative numbers; order of operations and basic algebraic equations. Thereafter the students will cover integers and rational numbers, equations, inequalities, exponents, and polynomials. The students are encouraged to make real world connections between algebraic mathematics and logical problem solving.
Honors Algebra I 1 Credit
This advanced level freshman course begins with a review of integers, fractions, decimals, the use of the order of operations, properties and rules of real numbers, and the use of variables, expressions and equations. Thereafter the students will study the following topics: simplifying and evaluating expressions, solving equations and inequalities, including their graphs, properties of exponents including zero and negative exponents, polynomials—adding, subtracting, multiplying and factoring—quadratic equations, simplifying radical expressions and solving equations containing radicals, and the use of the Pythagorean Theorem. The course moves at a moderately fast pace. The students will learn to make real world connections between algebraic mathematics and logical problem solving.
College Prep Algebra II 1 Credit
This sophomore level course begins with a review of Algebra I, including integers and rational numbers, equations, inequalities, exponents, and polynomials. Students then move on to advanced Algebra—topics include graphing, complex multi-step problem solving, functions, multiplication and division of polynomials, factoring, exponential factoring, monomial and trinomial factoring, scientific notation and advanced abstract equations. The students are again encouraged to make more sophisticated real world connections between algebraic mathematics and logical problem solving.
Honors Algebra II 1 Credit
This advanced level sophomore course reviews the topics of Algebra I and then develops new topics, including arithmetic with radicals and imaginary numbers, rational exponents, quadratic equations and inequalities, extensive work with functions, systems of equations and conic sections. Students will also delve into sequences, series, exponential and logarithmic functions.
College Prep Geometry 1 Credit
This junior level course deals with both the concrete applications of mathematics and the theoretical framework behind them. In addition to the logical, abstract thinking developed in algebra, geometry engages the visual and kinesthetic abilities of the learner. The course begins with an introduction to the basic terms and ideas of geometry, including measurement, constructions and coordinate and noncoordinate systems. The course makes many connections to Algebra, especially to logical reasoning and linear equations. Students do extended work with plane figures, particularly triangles. This is followed by topics including polygons, congruence, and similarity. Students also prepare for the ACT test by working with right triangles, circles, and the formulas for perimeter, area and volume.
Honors Geometry 1 Credit
This advanced level junior course presents the fundamentals of geometry, including: concepts of parallelism, perpendicularity, congruence, similarity and symmetry. Students will deduce properties of and relationships between figures from given assumptions and represent problem situations with geometric models. It is expected that students will develop an understanding of an axiomatic system through investigation and formal proof.
Pre-Calculus (Honors Level) 1 Credit
This course is a senior level mathematics offering; this class is each student’s first step towards intricate problem solving, and trying to produce a large quantity of proven information from only a small amount of given material. The prerequisite for this course is a strong background in both Algebra I and Algebra II, along with a basic knowledge of Geometry and Trigonometry. No longer is solving for the unknown going to suffice, the student will be applying standard formulas, such as the function and derivative to explain modern finance equations, architectural schematics and to eventually see advanced mathematics as a tool to be used in all realms of education. Understanding basic concepts of this course work, graphing multi-variable equations, code breaking, and vector quantities has proven to increase logical thinking skills which is a key to excelling at the collegiate level.
Algebra III 1 Credit
Algebra III is the study of graphical, algebraic, and numerical strategies to solve real-world problems. By the end of the class, each student will be able to identify issues that require a solution, evaluate options quantitatively, execute a solution, analyze results, and communicate findings with a rich mathematical and technical vocabulary.
STEM 5 Credits
This is a junior-senior level elective. Over the next school year, we will expand on all of your knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This year we will focus on the following four units:
Design and Modeling (design process, sketching, computer modeling)
Automation and Robotics
Energy and the Environment
TBD (Flight and Space, Magic of Electrons, or Science of Technology)
However, the most important thing to accomplish this year is to EXPLORE! Students will develop critical thinking skills through hands on project based learning, which will prepare them to take on real-world challenges. STEM is a way to connect subjects in meaningful ways that you can apply to your lives beyond middle school, high school and even college!
College Prep World History 1 Credit
This sophomore level course is an overview of the political, economic, geographic, social, religious and cultural development of the world’s major civilizations. Non-western as well as western societies from prehistoric times through the twenty-first century will be examined. World literature texts will supplement students’ reading of the standard world history text. Students will create a research project and participate in a History Fair during their second semester. Students will discover the relationship between the past, present and future and realize a greater understanding of other cultures and ways of life.
Honors World History 1 Credit
This advanced sophomore level course will cover the same material listed above but at an accelerated pace. Students will also read novels contemporary to the periods being covered and do in-depth critical analysis orally as well as in writing. Students will create a research project and participate in a History Fair during their second semester.
College Prep United States History 1 Credit
This junior level course is an overview of the political, economic, geographic, social, religious and cultural development of the United States of America. The time period covered begins with the arrival of the first Americans and continues through colonization, independence, growth of the nation, Civil War, both World Wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the Vietnam War on through to the present. Students will create a research project and participate in a History Fair during their second semester. The students also spend a considerable period of time learning about the intricacies of the United States Constitution—working towards successfully passing the Constitution Test.
Honors United States History 1 Credit
This advanced junior level course will cover the same topics as those listed above but at an accelerated pace. In addition, students will be reading novels that will supplement the history textbook. Students will receive a unit on examining primary documents and political cartoons from American history. Students will do a research project culminating in a presentation given at the History Fair.
Political Science .5 Credit
This senior level course is an overview of the various forms of government that are found around the world (currently and historically), among them: monarchy, parliamentary, fascism, communism, theocracy, and democracy. We will also cover the various structures of government, globalization and interdependence, international organizations and political violence. Current political events in the United States and around the world will provide the basis for daily class discussions. As we near the end of the semester, we will be examining several countries in depth in terms of their governments: UK, Russia, China, Nigeria, Mexico, and Iran.
Modern American History
In this semester long senior elective, class will be exploring and examining the past six decades of the United States beginning with the 1950’s. As a senior-level class, we will be working often with the analysis of information and the reading and evaluation of primary documents. Discussion and writing will also be crucial parts of this class. We will use literature, film and music to supplement our knowledge of the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Overall, this class will enrich the student’s knowledge of the US, and enhance their critical thinking and writing skills, and demonstrate that the past is always open to interpretation.
College Prep Biology 1 Credit
This sophomore level science course introduces students to current concepts in Biology. Through individual, group and class work the class focuses on the areas of the scientific method, measurement and the metric system, cell structure and function, heredity and development, plant function and structure, and human biology. Students will write a research paper and participate in the Science Fair as well as present a lesson to the class.
Honors Biology 1 Credit
This is the advanced level sophomore science course. Life forms and functions are described with some chemistry and mathematics sufficient for comprehension of the material. Topics of instruction include cell biology, genetics, protein synthesis, surveys of the five basic kingdoms of living things, human biology and ecology. Students will write a research paper and participate in the Science Fair as well as present a lesson to the class.
College Prep Chemistry 1 Credit
This junior level science course gradually introduces the use of the scientific method as a way of analyzing the chemical make-up of most organic and inorganic substances, using a form of analytical thinking our students have yet to fully explore. Students will begin with basic units of measurement, continue through the Periodic Table and eventually apply each of these concepts towards the composition and decomposition of intricate compounds. A standard of precise measurements and defined answers no longer allows science to be a study of approximations. Instead, chemistry finally allows students to delve into the science of the unknown and look beyond what can be seen with the naked eye. Students will write a research paper and participate in the Science Fair as well as present a lesson to the class.
Honors Chemistry 1 Credit
This advanced junior level science course introduces chemistry as the central science. Beginning with the smallest atomic and subatomic particles, this course shows the relationships between Inorganic and Organic compounds while allowing the student to practice the scientific method of writing and thought. As an honors course, the introductory sections, that include nomenclature, stoichometry, basic chemical compounds, and covalent and ionic bonding are rapidly covered so that more advanced theories such as Analytical and Advanced Organic Chemistry can be discussed. This course also offers the students the opportunity to not only learn chemistry at an advanced level, but simultaneously shows what an active role chemistry plays within modern society. This class is taught at such an accelerated level that that is not only prepared them for senior level science classes but also allows them to understand the expectations they will face from college laboratory science courses.
Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 Credit
This senior level science course begins on the basic level of cell structure and the chemical make-up of the human anatomy, and breaks down the structures and function of the human body. Sections of this class will deal with such topics as the immune and digestive systems, along with more timely issues such as stem cell research and the Human Genome Project. Understanding that a textbook cannot contain the intricate details of the advances of modern anatomical science, much of what is accomplished in class is based on current events. A goal set from the beginning of the course is to help students expand on the knowledge they currently possess about their own bodies and to build a greater understanding of their health and anatomy. Students will write a research paper and participate in the Science Fair as well as present a lesson to the class.
Physics (Honors Level) 1 Credit
This advanced senior level science course uses a common relationship with mathematics to explore the backbone of modern scientific theory. Students will find that previous courses such as Biology and Chemistry rely heavily on this intricate study of why our world functions in the pattern in which it does. A gradual introduction into advanced equations that represent a wide variety of subject matter, from velocity and acceleration to harmonic motion, will require not only a strong math background but also concurrent enrollment in a fourth year of higher level math. As each section begins, all previous information is vital to the understanding of the current material. This will require the student to use organization as a study tool, and also prepare them for what will be expected of them on the college level. Students will write a research paper and participate in the Science Fair as well as present a lesson to the class.
Spanish I—Non-Native 1 Credit
This introduction to the Spanish language is designed for students who do not speak Spanish as a first language. Students will learn about the Spanish language as well as many Spanish-speaking cultures through art, literature, and articles. Students will learn vocabulary and expressions to help them start communicating in Spanish. They will also learn basic grammar rules such as verbs, position of nouns and adjectives, gender of nouns and the formation of sentences. Students are encouraged to understand, speak, read and write in Spanish.
Spanish I—Native 1 Credit
This course is designed for students who speak Spanish as a first language. Students will become more intimately acquainted with Spanish in its written form as well as with the various Spanish-speaking cultures. Students will focus on spelling, accentuation, and lexical development through reading and writing. Students will also be introduced to verbal moods and the various verb tenses.
Spanish II—Non-Native 1 Credit
This course is a continuation of Spanish I—Non-Native. Students will expand on their knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures through art, literature and newspaper/magazine articles. Students will learn more complex grammar rules and language skills; introduction of new vocabulary words will continue to be essential. Students are encouraged to understand, speak, read and write in Spanish—this study of a foreign language will provide students with insights into other cultures and allow them to compare and contrast cultures, languages, customs and literature.
Spanish II—Native 1 Credit
This course is a continuation of Spanish I—Native. Spanish speaking students will get an elementary yet comprehensive introduction to Spanish literature analysis. Students will be provided with the opportunity not only to grasp the various levels of meaning of the literary genres studied, but also to acquire the technical vocabulary needed to describe and debate literary issues appropriately. The four basic genres of narrative, poetry, drama and essay will be introduced through readings from various Hispanic authors. Students will be required to read two novels from contemporary literature. In addition to literature, students will continue to learn, improve and apply technical grammar rules.
AP Spanish 1 Credit (Biennial Offering)
This college level Spanish course is designed for advanced Spanish students in their junior or senior year. The course focuses on literature analysis, written composition and debate of literary works. Students will read diverse selections of authors from Spain and Latin America from the Middle Ages to the modern era. These selections will cover the four basic literary genres: narrative, poetry, drama and essays. The course is taught completely in Spanish; Spanish 3 (Advanced Spanish) is a prerequisite.
Este curso de nivel universitario es para las estudiantes que ya han completado la secuencia requerida del lenguaje español. El curso enfatiza el uso y la maestría de la destreza auditiva y las habilidades de habla, lectura y escritura en español con obras de literatura hispana. La clase es totalmente en español y todas las estudiantes deben participar como miembros activos, creativos, críticos, para ampliar el conocimiento y reflexión en español. Las estudiantes inscritas en la clase tomarán el examen AP Spanish Literature al final del curso.
Religion I 1 Credit
This freshman level course focuses, during the 1st Semester, on the Old Testament, which contains the roots of not only Judaism but also Christianity. In order to understand the Old Testament and its importance to the lives of today’s Christians, students need to understand the history of the people of Israel. The 2nd Semester focuses on the New Testament. This portion of the Bible contains stories of the life and mission of Jesus. This semester aims to present an enriched understanding of Jesus, so that the central meaning of Jesus is clearly presented to the students.
Religion II 1 Credit
This sophomore level course is divided into 2 semesters. One semester will focus on the exploration of the rich traditions of sacramental theology and the practices which are fundamental to Catholicism—the course seeks to engage students in an encounter with this essential dimension of Catholic life so they can better appreciate the meaning underlying the sacraments and the relationship between the sacraments and their own life. Another semester will help students to understand the meaning of Catholicism and the Catholic Church. Students will be encouraged to deepen and strengthen their relationship and commitment to God through Christ within the Spirit-filled community, which is the Church.
Religion III 1 Credit
This junior level course focuses, in the first semester, on Christian justice that strives to teach students about right attitudes towards justice, to provide a glimpse of a future in which right attitudes are lived and to offer an understanding of how to turn right attitudes into action. The coursework helps students develop a strong conceptual framework for looking at justice issues, as well as helping them to understand the value of applying this framework to their daily living and decision-making. This framework is built from faith principles so it can enable students to be more aware of faith-based justice questions…and answers. The second semester stresses Christian morality—character development. A prime question posed throughout the second semester is “What kind of person am I becoming and what kind of person do I want to become?” Students strive towards the answer to the question by using Jesus as the model of full humanness and by looking at the virtues of Jesus as they can be seen in the lives of people past, present and within themselves. The course emphasizes that our moral behaviors are shaped more by the character we have developed than by the rules or principles we have learned. The students’ ability to develop the habits, virtues and character, which are consistent with the Christian ethic of love, is also a major focus of the second semester.
Religion IV .5 Credit
This senior level course is an overview of the various forms of religion found around the world, both ancient and modern. Students will learn the historical basis for the religions as well as how the religions exist in the 21st century. This class aims to increase the students’ understanding and awareness of other religions in a world that is becoming evermore diverse. This class also aims to explore the diversity within Christianity, the most prevalent religion among the students.
Senior Service Project .5 Credit
The Senior Service Project course is designed to give students the opportunity to critically reflect on an experience of service and community engagement. In this course we will explore Catholic Social Teaching, Charity and Justice, Service-Learning, civil and human rights, effective models of service and thoughtful community engagement. We will be engaging in discussions about the social and political realities that demonstrate injustice in our world, examining our faith-inspired response to these issues, and learning about different ways to approach service to uphold the dignity of individuals involved.
Art I .5 Credit (Periodic Offering)
The freshman level course is designed to provide students with everyday experiences to learn the elements of art and principles of design while enriching their learning in all fundamental areas of art. Studio projects and activities provide opportunities to create works of art using various media and techniques. As students explore, theorize, and apply the principles of aesthetics and art criticism to their own artwork and the artwork of others, they formulate a lifelong appreciation and satisfying experience in visual arts.
Art II .5 Credit (Periodic Offering)
The junior-senior level course is designed to provide students with a more in depth study of elements of art and principles of design while enriching their learning in all fundamental areas of art. Studio projects and activities provide opportunities to create works of art using various media and techniques. As students explore, theorize, and apply the principles of aesthetics and art criticism to their own artwork and the artwork of others, they formulate a lifelong appreciation and satisfying experience in visual arts.
Theater .5 Credit
This junior/senior course explores the medium of theater through theory, hands on experiences, visual art, film and field trips. Students begin by exploring the origin of theater and then examine its’ development into modern theater. Students are asked to examine issues faced by theater professionals and artists. These issues include: “the body in space” (i.e. creating stage pictures, image, metaphor, magic realism and symbol), “the body as an instrument” (i.e. body posture, style, movement, the mechanisms for proper diction, projection, voice and speech) and theater as a medium for expression and social change (i.e. performance art, traditional theater and theater history). Students are also asked to actively participate in creating a piece of theater based on their work and writing.
Physical Education/Health 1 Credit
This freshman level course introduces the students to exercise and to the importance of physical and mental fitness through a variety of sporting activities. The students participate in calisthenics and learn the rules and methods of such sports as soccer, volleyball, softball, and basketball. The health component covers mental health, social health, human development, nutrition, fitness, substance abuse, preventing disease, environmental and community health, safety and first aid. Students are encouraged to take an interest in their own bodies and to gain a greater understanding of the role they play in keeping everything in proper working condition.
Computers 1 .5 Credit
This freshman course is an introduction to computers. No previous knowledge is assumed or required. At the beginning of class, we examine questions such as, “What is a computer?” and “What is a network?”. We will take apart a computer and find out what makes it work. We will find out about “software” and learn what makes Macintosh different from Windows and what makes Windows XP different from Windows 7 and 8. We will uncover some basic dangers with using computers and the Internet and how to protect ourselves. We will also learn how to use the most important tools for students. And finally, we will explore computer careers, including design, engineering, and software development (programming).