OnCourse Feature Stories, cont.

2016-17 Graduation Requirements

According to Hanover Research, “The strongest contributing factor to success on the SAT and ACT is a rigorous, high‐quality high school core curriculum…. Literature agrees that strong academic preparation is the best foundation for success on the SAT and ACT.”

Data from the College Board further indicates that a third year of science and a fourth year of math significantly improve student performance on the ACT and SAT. Rigor, in this instance, can be defined by a course-load that includes:

  • 40 units of English
  • 40 units of Math
  • 30 Units of Science

Many students at Moreau meet and/or exceed this criteria, opting to take courses during the summer to accelerate their progress through Moreau’s curriculum. In fact, Mariners who work their way through the Moreau Calculus course score an average of 647 on the Math SAT (137 points higher than the California average).

Expanding STEM

Honors Anatomy is a rigorously-paced life science course that will prepare students for challenging careers in medical professions, biological studies, biomedical engineering, and other health careers. Students will learn about numerous anatomical structures (and the proper scientific vocabulary to describing their locations and functions) while conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis in laboratory exercises. Anatomy in Clay® Manikins will be utilized to allow students to "build" the major human systems. This course will provide students the opportunity to engage in deeper content knowledge related to human anatomy and physiology, as well as expose students to the expectations and responsibilities of a higher-level scientific environment.

The AP Environmental Science course is the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.

The "new" SAT

As many parents are already aware, the College Board is rolling out a newly formatted and redesigned SAT in 2016. The new SAT aligns content with National Common Core Standards, emphasizing evidence-based reading and writing as well as math sections both with and without a calculator allowed. While the previous SAT focused on critical reading and included an essay as part of the total score, the new SAT has an optional writing section that is scored separately from the rest of the exam.

Moreau Catholic teachers have been forecasting for this shift for the past two years, aligning curriculum within our Catholic Core Plus Framework to ensure students continue to develop 21st century skills for college and career readiness. In anticipation of the shift in the structure of the SAT and PSAT, our counseling department began administering the PSAT to 9th-11th graders this year to provide an additional year of practice on the timing, content, and structure of the exam. PSAT score reports will be distributed to students in January.

The March 2016 SAT will be the first time the new SAT is administered nationwide. Moreau Catholic partners with Revolution Prep to provide an SAT prep course on campus starting at the end of January. Please contact your student’s counselor for more information on resources available to help with prepping for the new SAT.

Read More >> New Changes for SAT ... as well as interesting reading from Time, The Atlantic and Kaplan.

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