Gonzaga Preparatory School

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Course Catalog



A complete description of all programs offered at Gonzaga Preparatory School is contained in this Academic Catalog. The catalog also contains the school's academic policies and procedures. This catalog is revised regularly in order to update programs and to incorporate changes in academic procedures.



Students are expected to fulfill their God-given talents to work to their capacity, and to accept the challenge to use and develop their gifts. Gonzaga Preparatory School expects high quality academic performance from each student commensurate with his/her ability.

Academic success requires consistent home study on the part of students. Students should expect and expend on the average of at least half an hour outside study daily for every academic class. Organization of assignments and deadlines are an important part of study skills. To that end, Gonzaga Preparatory School gives a Gonzaga Preparatory School Planner and Student Handbook to each student at the beginning of the year.

Due to the demand a college prep curriculum places on a student, we discourage students from working more than twenty hours a week at a job. Students wanting to work more than twenty hours per week must get approval from the Academic Vice Principal.

Students experiencing academic difficulties are encouraged to speak often to their teachers and counselors. Teachers meet often with students before and after school and during homeroom. Counselors help arrange tutors through our National Honor Society.

It is important that all students see the tremendous importance of honesty and integrity in their academic pursuits. No grade, test, lab report, or paper is more important than one's integrity. The school takes violations of academic integrity seriously and the consequences for such actions can be found in the Student Handbook.


In educating, a balance must be maintained, your steps must be well balanced, one step on the cornice of safety but the other into the zone of risk. And when the risk becomes safe, the next step must venture into another area of risk. Education cannot be confined to the safety zone.

Pope Francis in an address to students of Jesuit schools (June 7, 2013)

Teachers select media for the purpose of challenging and encouraging students to think about and to question the world (past, present, and future). They do not select media for the sake of creating controversy; instead, they select media when the pieces make students aware of alternatives that can lead them closer to or further from the realization of becoming more fully human.

Today's students are inundated with controversial media. When, however, this media is encountered in the controlled environment of a classroom, the content can be handled intelligently within the context of the school's mission. Students who are carefully guided through controversial media in the classroom are then better prepared to cope with moral ambiguity when they inevitably encounter it on their own.

The academic syllabi of Gonzaga Preparatory School are geared toward helping students confront themselves and their world—including values and ideas other than their own—in safe learning environments where these confrontations can be more productive than destructive. Life is not a simple, compartmentalized system in which certain predictable moves lead a person toward certain predictable goals. In a Jesuit school, students are called to “discern the spirits” of their surroundings and their world, making informed and reflective judgments about both good and evil as well as both good and better. This latter choice reflects the Jesuit ideal of the Magis absolutely central to the school's mission and identity. Therefore, the better equipped a student is to make solid value judgments based on an understanding of the world that is as well as the world which ought to be, the better thatstudent—honoring the words of Saint Ignatius of Loyola— can “go forth and set the world on fire.”


The requirements for graduation from Gonzaga Preparatory School have been established by the Academic Council in conformance with guidelines developed by the Washington State Department of Education, the Jesuit Secondary Education Association, and the Higher Education Coordinating Board. Students who successfully complete these requirements will be awarded a Gonzaga Preparatory School diploma.

Graduation requirements are stated in terms of “credits earned.” One half credit is awarded for each semester of work successfully completed. Students are required to:

  1. Complete a total of 25 credits between the ninth and twelfth grade years beginning with the class of 2015;
  2. Complete required credits in each of the content areas outlined below;
  3. Take at least six classes each semester unless otherwise waived for emergency situations or dual enrollment;
  4. Be enrolled in four academic core courses and Theology each semester they are enrolled as a full-time student;
  5. Take classes in the appropriate sequence as prescribed by Washington State law;
  6. Take all required courses at Gonzaga Preparatory School, unless special permission is granted by the Academic Vice Principal.

Required Classes:

Theology: Six credits-Six semesters Community Service: One credit-One semester

English: Eight credits-Eight semesters

Mathematics: Eight credits-Eight semesters

History: Six credits-Six semesters

World Language: Four credits-Four semesters

Physical Education/Health: Two credits-Two semesters

Science: Six credits-Six semesters

Fine Arts: Two credits-Two semesters

Occupational Ed/ Electives: Six credits-Six semesters

School-wide grading scale:

A = 93 - 100% C = 73 - 76%
A- = 90 - 92% C- = 70 - 72%
B+ = 87 - 89% D+ = 67 - 69%
B = 83 - 86% D = 60 - 66%
B- = 80 - 82% F = 0 - 59%
C+ = 77 - 79%

Grading System for GPA Calculations:

A = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3
A- = 3.7 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0
B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 F = 0.0

I = Incomplete

W = Withdrawal

WF = Withdrawal Failure

Honors and AP Course grades are not weighted.

The cumulative g.p.a. is determined by averaging the grades of academic courses taken; g.p.a. is not weighted. If a student repeats a course, both the original course title and grade and the repeated course title and grade will appear on the transcript. However, only the higher grade of the two will be factored into the cumulative g.p.a.


Academic admissions requirements for competitive four year colleges require/ recommend the following:

English 4 years


(Students must take Math their senior year)

4 years

World Language

(Must be of the same language)

3+ years
History 3 years
Laboratory Science 3+ years


Gonzaga Prep believes in a four-year formational program for students that includes the direct interaction of instructor and student. Face to face interaction creates a context that is difficult to create through online communication. Despite this, the value of online and blended learning courses is recognized and Gonzaga Prep does offer courses in this format. These courses are typically designed for credit retrieval and not foracceleration. The school does not accept credits in an online or blended course format to replace graduation requirements, unless approved by the Academic Vice Principal. Approvals are rare. The school does accept courses from other credit providers for enrichment credits, but not to replace graduation requirements.


Gonzaga Prep does recognize high school courses taken in 8th grade if the students receives a qualifying score on an entrance or honors exam that validates the student’s proficiency in that area. Because we are not in control of the content and grading, we do not accept the letter grade received in 8th grade, but will show a P on the transcript.


Students who allow their Semester GPA to fall below a 2.00, upon review by the Academic Vice Principal and counseling department, will be placed on Academic Probation. Gonzaga Prep will review the standing of all students who have failed to show academic improvement after two semesters of Academic Probation (whether consecutive or not). Students in this situation may be dismissed from Gonzaga Prep.

The continued enrollment of students on Academic Probation will be reviewed with these considerations:

  1. The extra time and effort expended by the faculty and administration on the student's behalf and the corresponding effort or lack of effort, cooperation, and / or motivation demonstrated by the student;
  2. The degree to which the student has utilized academic support services such as tutoring, and meeting with teachers;
  3. The student's commitment and effort in completing his or her responsibilities as stated in any accommodation plan.
  4. The student's attendance record;
  5. The student's behavioral record;
  6. Other individual student concerns and personal history.


The following policies govern failures and incompletes:

  1. Students must pass all required courses taken at Gonzaga Preparatory School. A semester failure in a required course constitutes a deficiency which must be corrected by enrollment in summer school at Gonzaga Preparatory School.
  2. Any student who receives a D or F grade in a course may repeat the course in summer school or in the following school year with prior course approval by the Academic Vice Principal. A student may not take two English courses concurrently during the school year. The original D or F will remain on the transcript as an attempted credit but will not be calculated in the GPA. The higher grade earned will be used in the GPA calculation.
  3. An “Incomplete” is assigned when a student has not fulfilled course requirements for some reason (e.gprolonged illness). In such cases, the student is expected to complete the requirements within six weeks of the date the Incomplete was assigned. It is always the student's responsibility to contact the teacher with regard to correcting an Incomplete. An Incomplete that is not corrected within the six-week time span becomes an “F” unless special arrangements are made with the Academic Vice Principal and the teacher involved.


A student will be sent a letter after 10 absences in a class per semester (excused or unexcused) requesting a written explanation of absences and plan for improvement. After 15 absences in a class (excused or unexcused), a student will only be eligible to receive a Pass/Fail grade in the course. After 20 absences in a single class, a student will be withdrawn from the course and receive a failing grade. Special consideration will be given to medical-related absences; as always, all attendance scenarios will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


Excused Absences - Students will be responsible for homework and class assignments on the day they return to class. Students are responsible to obtain class notes and any review materials when they are absent.


Missing tests or quizzes should be scheduled on the day the student returns to school. Ordinarily, the test or quiz will be made up the day of their return to class unless stated otherwise in department policies. Students missing days prior to a test or quiz are responsible for getting notes and will take the test/quiz on scheduled day. If a student is observed missing test days on a frequent basis a conference will be required.


Any student who is absent on a semester exam day in January and/or June for the purpose of a trip or vacation or similar reasons will receive a failing grade for the semester exam grade in the subjects missed. A student who misses an exam day for legitimate illness or very serious reasons, such as a funeral or a sibling graduation, will be allowed to make up his/her exams upon approval of the Academic Vice- Principal. Gonzaga Prep does not give semester exams earlier than the regularly scheduled exam period. Families should plan vacations and travel with this policy in mind.


All students must be able to receive all required credits before their graduation date. If it becomes evident a student is unable to earn enough credits to graduate, the student may be dismissed from Gonzaga Preparatory School.


Schedule changes are discouraged. Therefore, students must choose their courses wisely. In the event students are incorrectly placed, they may request a schedule change. The last date for a schedule change is the fifth meeting day of classes in a semester. Schedule changes initiated by the student incur a $5.00 fee. Beyond the fifth day, no student may add or drop a course without the recommendation or permission of the instructor, counselor, and Academic Vice Principal. If a student drops a class after the fifth day, a ‘W' (withdrawal) will appear on the student's transcript. A ‘W' will not appear if the student is making a teacher/counselor driven level change. A ‘W' will have no impact on the GPA. If a class is dropped after the end of a quarter, a WF (withdrawal/failure) will appear on the transcript and the failure will be factored in the GPA.

To change a schedule, a student must:

  1. Meet with the student's counselor to discuss the request;
  2. Obtain the signatures of the teachers involved in the change;
  3. Obtain a parent's verification as an indication of his/her approval; and
  4. File the Schedule Change Form with the Academic Vice Principal for approval and signature.

Schedule changes will not be permitted on the basis of teacher preference.

A schedule change is not effective until the Academic Vice Principal approves the request and indicates an effective date for the change.


Counselors are assigned based on the last name of the student. A student should expect to have the samecounselor for their four years at Gonzaga Prep. This enables the student and counselor to build a strong relationship and for the counselor to write a strong letter of recommendation for the student when applying to universities. Students cannot request a particular counselor.


Gonzaga Preparatory School offers summer school for students who need enrichment or remediation to be continually prepared for a college prep curriculum. The summer school program is staffed by qualified teachers and is open to current or prospective Gonzaga Prep students in the 8th grade or above.

Course offerings as well as start and stop dates for summer school change annually. Typically a student can rely on summer school to begin a week after the regular school year ends and to continue for five weeks. Students can take up to two three-hour courses. There is a tuition charge for each course.

Summer school is required for students who fail a class during the school year. A student must prove competency in a class that he/she has failed before being allowed to progress to the next level during the school year. Students who have failed a course also have shown the course to be difficult in the context of taking a full schedule of courses. The school is reluctant to permit the student to make up the course during the school year while expecting the student to perform well in the other courses the student is taking.

Summer school offers an opportunity to make up credit that was not successfully earned during the normal school year. Since credit is given for successful completion of a course, the attendance policy at Gonzaga Prep applies. Students are expected to be present daily. Roll will be taken and tardies will be recorded. Students must adhere to any attendance requirements indicated by their instructor. Students must also understand that missing five days of class will result in failure of the course in which they are enrolled. Grade reductions may be incurred for fewer than five absences as outlined by each instructor. If a student wishes to drop a course without penalty, the student must express this desire in writing to the summer school administrator by the end of the fifth day of classes.


Students transferring into Gonzaga Preparatory School during their sophomore or junior year are required to fulfill Gonzaga Preparatory School's and Washington State's graduation requirements from the time of theirtransfer. Transfer student grades will be added to the Gonzaga Preparatory School transcript and grading scale. Transfer grades will utilize the previous school's grading scale for the corresponding grade.


In the context of its mission and curriculum, and given its limited resources as a private secondary school, Gonzaga Preparatory School can only provide “minor adjustments” for a student with diagnosed learning difficulties and/or documented physical and/or mental health issues in order to help the student succeed academically, spiritually, and personally. A qualifying student should speak to his/her counselor to find out how to proceed.


Qualifying students may enroll simultaneously at Gonzaga Preparatory School and Gonzaga University or Community Colleges for courses not offered at Gonzaga Preparatory School. The student is responsible for tuition and fees at these other institutions.


Prep periods are supervised study halls to assist students academically. Students with a semester GPA below a 2.5 are required to take a Prep Period. Teacher's Assistant and Prep Periods cannot be taken in the same semester as Physical Education courses unless the Prep Period and Physical Education course is mandated by the school.


A course designated by Gonzaga Preparatory School as “Honors” (H) or Advanced Placement (AP) requires that students commit to in-depth, intensive study of complex material, both in and out of class. An AP designation indicates that the course meets the standards set by the College Board for advanced college placement. Students who sign up for AP classes are given the opportunity to take college-level courses in high school as well as the AP exam to earn college credit. The goal of each AP course is to prepare students for college-level courses and by default the AP exam. Students are expected to take the AP exam, but in some cases it may be in students' interest not to take the exam. In these cases students can be permitted to opt out of the exams if they have consent from their parents/guardians, AP teachers, and counselors.



Valedictorian Award: The Valedictorian award is presented to the student or students who have the highest cumulative GPAs while taking the most rigorous courses Gonzaga Prep offers.

Salutatorian Award: The Salutatorian is presented to the student or students who have the second highest cumulative GPAs while taking the most rigorous courses Gonzaga Prep offers.

Summa Cum Laude: Summa Cum Laude—Latin for with highest praise—is awarded to students who have received between a 3.9 and 4.0 GPA.

Magna Cum Laude: Magna Cum Laude—Latin for with great praise—is awarded to students who have received between a 3.6 and 3.89 GPA.

Cum Laude: Cum Laude—Latin for with praise—is awarded to students who have received between a 3.3 and 3.59 GPA.



Goals of the Community Service Class:

To have students:

  • Gain an awareness of the world-in-need principally through direct contact with those needing assistance.
  • Identify how one is being called to serve.
  • Grow in self confidence in approaching those in need.
  • Come to a greater appreciation of one's own gifts.
  • Promote social justice within our community.
  • Assess one's performance and that of the agency that he/she serves.
  • Become a “Person for Others” and live the Profile of the Graduate.


Currently one semester of Community Service is required. Normally seniors take the course either during their senior year or during the summer preceding a student's senior year.


We are heavily involved in trying to assist the low-income area in which Gonzaga Prep is located. The vast majority of our placements are located within two miles of the school. Students are allowed to work in direct service with people who have been marginalized.

Volunteer opportunities exist:

  • With public and private schools;
  • With English as a Second Language with adults from throughout the world;
  • With developmentally and physically disabled;
  • With the elderly;
  • With hospitals;
  • With various agencies working with Boys and Girls Club;
  • We work with St. Aloysius Elem. School, St. Patrick's Elem. School, Trinity Elem. School, Bemiss Elem. School, Logan Elem. School, Regal Elem. School, Stevens Elem. School, Longfellow Elem. School, Institute for Higher Learning (Adult ESL Students), Arc Community Center (Developmentally Disabled Adults), Center Pointe (Developmentally Disabled Adults), Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, Boys and Girls Club, Martin L. King Center, St. Anne's Children Home, Riverview Care Center and North Central Care Center. Students are also able to find their own agency so long as it meets the criteria of our class.



Department Philosophy:

The English department promotes the studies of literature and communication as vehicles for understanding the complexity of human experience: individual and social, cultural and historical, moral and spiritual. The department strives to create readers, writers, speakers, and philosophers able to think critically and reflectively and to act in responsible, tolerant, and enlightened ways.

Department Requirements:

  • Four years of English are required for graduation.
  • The Language Arts course does not count towards graduation requirements.
  • Students may enter the Honors Courses at any point in their careers as long as they satisfy the honors requirements, which include teacher recommendations.

Course Sequence:

College Prep* Honors
9th English I(B) & Language Arts, English I(B), or English I Honors English I
10th English II(B) or English II Honors English II
11th English III AP English Language
12th British Literature/Elective AP English Lit

* Placement is based on placement test scores.


Language Arts:

The Language Arts course—often taken in conjunction with the English I (B) course—covers a variety of foundational skills that serve as cornerstones for nearly every other academic discipline or life endeavor. Specific topics covered include grammar (emphasizing usage in writing), rhetoric (emphasizing the art of spoken and written discourse), and literacy (emphasizing reading comprehension). Prerequisite: counselor recommendation.

English I: Introduction to Literature and Composition:

The English I course strives to provide an academic cornerstone that will directly influence nearly all disciplines and future endeavors students will encounter. The course explores selected works from a variety of literary genres (drama, poetry, short story, novel, nonfiction), and includes specialty units covering Greek mythology and Shakespeare. Additionally, English I emphasizes building a strong foundation of grammar usage, oral communication, and writing skills. The written and oral communication components of the course coverthe following: the writing process (brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, publishing); content (ideas, organization, support); style (word choice, sentence variety, voice); conventions (grammar/usage, mechanics, format); types of writing (persuasive, business, literary analysis, narrative, reflective, expository); and vocabulary building. Overall, the course introduces the primary literary and communication elements that will be built upon throughout the next three years at Prep and beyond. Prerequisite: none. An honors section is available.

English II: Literary Genres and Communication Skills:

The English II course encompasses two primary subject areas: literature and communication. The course's literature component focuses on literary analysis and critical thinking. Students explore various types of literature based on a genre approach that covers plays, short stories, non-fiction, poems, and novels. Students also explore key literary concepts in order to discuss and analyze literary works maturely and precisely. Ultimately, the literature component enables students to understand themselves and their diverse world better. Included in the course's communication component are composition, grammar, vocabulary, and speech. Building on the year-long freshman experience, the sophomore communication component focuses on the writing process and the improvement of fundamental communication skills (both oral and written) concerning content, style, and conventions. Prerequisite: English I. An honors section is available.

English III: American Literature:

The English III course examines American literature through representative writers from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, and Emily Dickinson to Tim O'Brien, Toni Morrison, and Adrienne Rich. Ultimately, the literature component enables students to understand the American experience. The course also reinforces and expands on previous study concerning composition, grammar, vocabulary building, and speech. Writing units challenge students to compose formal essays and literary analyses. A centerpiece to this course is a research paper and presentation in collaboration with the student's U.S. History course. Prerequisite: English II.

English III: AP Language and Composition:

Advanced Placement Language and Composition is a junior-level course designed to improve students' reading and writing of prose. American literature, presented in a chronological sequence, forms the backbone of the class. In writing assignments, students reflect on important themes in American literature and the history of which it is a part. Some of the themes considered in the course are the nature of freedom, the role and importance of theindividual in America, the tensions between the needs of a community and the freedoms of an individual, the myth and reality of American exceptionalism, and the philosophical and stylistic changes from one American movement to another. College credit in English is awarded to those who qualify. Prerequisite: Honors English II and teacher recommendation, or teacher recommendation and English Department approval .

English IV: British Literature (1st semester):

British Literature I is a survey course that centers on students' reading and analyzing the marquee works of the greatest writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Dickens, Brontë, Browning, Tennyson, Hardy, Eliot, Yeats, Joyce, Lessing, and Woolf. The communication component of the course includes composition, grammar, vocabulary building, and speech. Writing units challenge students to compose effective college application essays, formal essays, research papers, technical writing, and literary analyses. Prerequisite: English III

English IV: Elective Choice (2nd semester):

Second semester students will have a choice of English offerings with which to fulfill their English requirement. The elective choices are still in development and will be complete before students register for classes. English IV: AP English Literature Advanced Placement English Literature is a senior -level course emphasizing reading and responding to representative selections of prose, drama, and poetry. Because this course is aligned with the requirements of AP English Literature and Composition, there is a particular emphasis on European writers from the 16th century to contemporary times.

This college -level course requires careful analysis of literary works, writing in various modes, and frequent and high -quality participation in discussion. Reading, writing, and discussion are of equal value in the learning process, and each is seriously considered in the grading for the course. College credit in English is awarded to those who qualify. Prerequisite: AP English III and teacher recommendation, or teacher recommendation and English Department approval.



Department Philosophy:

The visual and performing arts are considered essential components in the education of students at Gonzaga Preparatory School and the successful fulfillment of its mission. We strive to prepare our students to be creative and critical thinkers, artists, participants and patrons in the arts. We work to create an interdisciplinary, intercultural and creative community. Through the arts students not only explore the human response to moral, historical, philosophical and cultural experiences but also the technological tools of their chosen discipline. In accordance with the Jesuit mission, we emphasize the uniqueness and acceptance of each person, encourage a lifelong openness to growth, love and acceptance of self and provide a realistic knowledge of the world and its structures.

Gonzaga Prep Choral Program

Department Philosophy:

The choral program at Gonzaga Prep seeks to immerse students in a musical environment that is challenging, professional, and inspirational. The program is rigorous, yet accessible for students of all abilities. Students develop the performance skills and knowledge needed to continue to pursue music at the college level, and beyond. In the end, through the complexity and beauty of the human voice, we make music to help us find God in all things.


Concert Choir:

Concert Choir is the introductory course to our choral program of over 100 students in the 9th grade. Concert choir has students of all musical backgrounds. It covers music theory, literacy, and vocal technique. This choir participates in 4 major concerts a year and one competitive festival. This choir will sing music from a wide variety of styles, eras, and cultures, and will spend time developing music literacy and ear-training skills. Everyone who loves to sing, or who would like to learn, is welcome to enroll! Course fee.

Men Women
9th Concert Choir Concert Choir
10th Symphonic/Jazz Phase II
11th Symphonic/Jazz Symphonic/Jazz
12th Symphonic/Jazz Symphonic/Jazz

Phase II Jazz:

Phase II Women is an exciting performance choir exploring the power of the female voice! Performing challenging repertoire, and a combination of Jazz and chamber music, Phase II performs in all four major school concerts, competes in festivals across Washington andtours the Northwest. This choir will sing music from a wide variety of styles, eras, and cultures, as well as vocal jazz. Women who plan to audition for Jazz Connection in their junior or senior year are strongly encouraged to enroll in Phase II. This choir will also spend time developing music literacy and ear-training skills. Everyone who loves to sing, or who would like to learn, is welcome to enroll! Requirements: Female, grade 10,11,12. 9 (with permission) Course fee.

Symphonic Choir:

Symphonic choir is our largest choir, involving over sixty male and female vocalists. The group sings a large variety of challenging, often college-level repertoire. Symphonic choir is often the recipient of awards and highest honors at competitive festivals throughout the Northwest. Symphonic Choir regularly tours exciting cities across the nation, from Seattle to New York City. It is a non auditioned group; however, at least one year of suitable vocal experience or teacher permission is required. Symphonic Choir gives opportunity for students to experience an advanced vocal ensemble with a professional atmosphere. It also encourages student leadership, involving eight section leaders and our choir government. Prerequisite: 1 year of suitable experience or permission. Male, grades 10, 11, 12. Female, grades 11, 12. Course fee.

Jazz Connection:

Jazz Connection is an award-winning vocal jazz ensemble that consists of twenty of Gonzaga Prep's most motivated and talented vocalists. Jazz Connection tours annually and performs very challenging and exciting repertoire at a variety of venues around the northwest. Jazz members participate in one to two vocal retreats per year. They perform regularly in the Spokane area and participate in numerous festivals and competitions throughout the year where they regularly receive top honors. In 2011 they were the Division 1 Champions at the CBC Jazz Unlimited Festival. The Jazz Connection holds auditions twice a year: mid January for spring semester and early June for fall semester. Requirement: Audition and enrollment in Symphonic or Phase II choirs. Course fee.

Department Requirements:

All choir courses satisfy Gonzaga Prep's one-year fine arts requirement. Course Sequence: Jazz Choir must be taken concurrently with another choral class.


Department Philosophy:

Gonzaga Prep's Debate Team philosophy emphasizes the intellectual and ethical growth of the student. Our goal is for each student to reach his/her potential and develop expertise in critical thinking competency, listening competency, speaking competency, leadership competency, debating competency, performing literature, having positive interpersonal and small group skills, and having high ethical standards. A spirit of "enthusiasm and professionalism is the image that the squad wants to project to the community.”

Department Requirements:

Debate satisfies the one-year fine arts requirement for graduation.

Course Sequence:

9th Debate
10th Advanced Debate
11th Advanced Debate
12th Advanced Debate

Thanks to Cameron University for their help in articulating their debate department's philosophy so well.


Debate/Adv Debate:

This class meets during the school day and is designed for both beginning and advanced debaters. Students will compete in tournaments on the local, state and national levels. Course fee.

Drama/Theatre Arts:


Theatre has always been a part of human history. Every culture has its own unique form of theatre. Theatre is a reflection of the society that created it and by its nature has the ability to transform that society. The purpose of the Drama/Theatre Arts department is to help the students of Gonzaga Preparatory School understand the role theatre has in society and its place in human history. Through a balanced study of theatre history, stage and broadcast technology, design fundamentals, dramatic literature and performance skills students will come to understand and apply the creative process as they create their own works of art.


Drama satisfies Gonzaga Prep's one-year fine arts requirement. Admission to the Advanced Drama class must either follow completion of the Beginning Drama class or interview/audition.

Course Sequence:

9th Drama
10th Drama

Adv Drama

11th Drama Adv Drama
12th Drama Adv Drama



The Drama class is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the basic skills and creative effort involved in the art of drama. The student will be asked to perform in class, maintain a daily journal and participate in all activities and exercises that are a part of the classroom work.

Advanced Drama: Acting, Directing or Production Design:

The student will leave the advanced class having had the opportunity to both study and practice their craft. Every student will have an opportunity to learn the basic tools, including script analysis, character analysis, composition, visualization, movement and much more. Once the student discovers the basic tools, he/she will be given the opportunity to work in their specific area. The student's work will be adjudicated by a local drama professional and presented at the end of the year for the public.


Dance I is an introductory course to the diverse and exciting world of dance. Students who enroll in this course will learn and become proficient at the basic techniques of the major dance genres of ballet, jazz and modern. Students will also learn about a variety of popular subgenres including social dance (swing, salsa, tango), hip hop, musical theater dance and international dance. A brief unit on choreography will also be a part of the curriculum. Students will participate in the Lessons and Carols event in December and in a major dance concert at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: One year of Freshmen Fine Arts (any of the classes offered will suffice). No previous dance experience is necessary, anyone who would like to learn more about dance is welcome to enroll! Requirements: Must be a sophomore or above. Course fee.

Instrumental Music:

Department Philosophy:

The goal of instrumental music at Gonzaga Prep is to expose students to a variety of aspects about music, so as to create life long patrons of the fine arts. While also giving ample opportunity for excellence in performance, so as to facilitate the progression of skill for any student who wishes to pursue music in a collegiate or professional setting. Requirements: All instrumental music courses satisfy Gonzaga Prep's one-year fine arts requirement.

Course Sequence:

Band Orchestra

Concert Band

Wind Ensemble

10th Wind Ensemble Orchestra
11th Wind Ensemble Orchestra
12th Wind Ensemble Orchestra

Jazz Band must be taken concurrently with another instrumental music class.


Concert Band:

Concert band is open to all students with at least one year of band experience or private lessons. Basic fundamentals as well as large ensemble playing are stressed. The group will perform in band concerts in the winter and spring and occasionally with the Symphonic Band at public events. Prerequisite: previous experience. Course fee.

Wind Ensemble:

This performance group is open to all experienced wind and percussion players. Basic music skills and artistic interpretation of a wide variety of music are taught. The band performs in all concerts and at sporting events. Students in the band may audition for the Jazz Band. Prerequisite: teacher permission. Course fee.

Jazz Band:

Members prepare jazz and jazz-rock music to be performed at school concerts and at public functions throughout Spokane. Prerequisites: Concert or Symphonic Band, teacher permission. Course fee.

String Orchestra:

This ensemble is for string players with some previous experience. A variety of music is presented and performed in concerts and recitals. Prerequisite: previous experience. Course fee.

Visual Arts

Department Philosophy:

The Visual Arts provide a unique and necessary understanding of civilization; develop creativity and problem solving skills; provide the tools for verbal and nonverbal communication; and develop the capacity to make wise and informed choices among the products of the arts. The making of art is of benefit to all students because of the opportunity for unique self - expression and for group participation. Art instruction provides an opportunity for self directed learning. Students develop the ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate their own decisions, regarding their artwork andthe work of others. The art program should include the utilization of current technologies in the creative process. The art programs mission is to provide all students with continuous and sequential study in the visual arts, which will simultaneously reveal the joy of aesthetic expression, the hard work of craftsmanship, and the necessity of art within the complete human experience.

Department Requirements:

One year of any Fine Art required for graduation. Two years will also satisfy the Occupational Ed. Requirement.

Course Sequence: All Options

9th Art I

Art I

Art II

Sculpture I & II

Photography I & II


Art I

Art II


AP Studio

Sculpture I & II

Photography I & II


Art I

Art II


AP Studio

Sculpture I & II

Photography I & II

Course Sequence: 2D AP Studio track

9th Art I
10th Art II

Sculpture I

Sculpture II

12th AP Studio

Course Sequence: Undecided

9th Art I
10th Art II

Sculpture Photography

Art III (choose two)

12th AP Studio


Art I:

Students are introduced to the basic elements and principles of art through hands on experience. Areas of study include drawing, painting, printmaking, 3-D, ceramics, basic design, art appreciation, etc. Course fee


Art II and Art III are semester courses. These courses are a continuation of Art I and include a more in-depth study of artistic styles and techniques. There is studio work in drawing, painting, 3-D, ceramics, commercial design and art appreciation. Prerequisite: Art I (year). Course fee.

Advanced Placement Studio Art:

Students work in a directed independent study in preparation for the Advanced Placement art exams. Prerequisite: teacher permission. Course fee.

Sculpture/Ceramics I & II:

The Sculpture/Ceramics class is an overview of basic skills used to create 3D works of art. With an emphasis on studio production this course is designed to follow the curriculum for the completion of an Advanced Placement Portfolio in Sculpture. Materials used include paper, cardboard, metal, wood, clay, plastics, and glass. Special attention will be given to reassigned and recycled materials. Students will develop skills in higher level thinking, art related technology, art criticism, art history, and aesthetics. Courses I and II take place during the same class period. Prerequisite: Art I or teacher permission. Course fee.

Photography I & II:

The focus of this class will be the camera as an art form. Students will learn camera mechanics as well as black and white film developing and printing. Other creative camera techniques will be taught with and without the use of a camera. Each student will produce a portfolio of 20 matted, 8 x 10 photos. Students must have access to a 35 mm camera. Prerequisite: Art I. Course fee.



Department Mission Statement:

The History Department, as part of a Catholic, Jesuit institution, is committed to: (a) excellence in education, (b) a broad based study of the human past, (c) encouragement of student interest in all areas of history, (d) dynamic scholarly activity, and (e) a critical sense of history and the contemporary world. The Department promotes investigation of and reflection on the accumulated knowledge and diverse experience of human societies, which leads to an understanding of and appreciation for the past.

Department Requirements:

3 years required for graduation. One year must be World History and one year must be United States History. Senior year allows for students to select elective courses.

Course Sequence:

College Prep Honors
9th or 10th World History AP World History
11th United States History AP United States History

United States History Since 1945

Age of Genocide


History Classical Music

Current Issues (required)

AP Government and Politics

AP European History

AP Macroeconomics


World History:

World history is a freshman/sophomore level class. It is a survey of the history and development of world civilizations from antiquity through the 20th century. In addition, students will be introduced to political and physical geography and the role geography plays in the development of civilizations.

Advanced Placement World History:

The AP course in World History invites students to take a global view of historical processes and contacts between people in different societies with an emphasis on the past thousand years. The course will be rigorous and rewarding. Attention will also be given to preparing students with the skills necessary to engage the AP WorldHistory exam given in the spring. Prerequisites: history department approval and minimum GPA.

United States History:

This is a full year course covering the background, experience, political thought, and development of the American people. Stressed are critical reading, insights and skills which are building blocks to success both in high school and college.

Advanced Placement United States History:

This is a college level course for the student who wishes an in-depth study of American history. Critical reading and writing techniques are emphasized. The student has an opportunity to delve deeply into the American background in an attempt to gain a much greater evaluation of the American experience. Primary sources in history, literature and society are utilized. Prerequisites: history department approval and minimum GPA.

Advanced Placement European History:

This is a course in European History from the Reformation to the present. It is for the better student who wishes to have a more indepth study of major phases of Western civilization. It will afford the student the opportunity to read, write and learn about the great leaders and their ideas which have shaped and been the basis of many of our 20th Century ideas. Prerequisite: history department approval and minimum GPA.

Advanced Placement U.S. Government & Politics:

This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. Politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that constitute U.S. Politics. Students will become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Course topics include: constitutional underpinnings of U.S. Government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy and civil rights, and civil liberties. Students gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. Prerequisite: history department approval and minimum GPA.

Current Issues/ American Government:

This course provides a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. Students will study both the general concepts used to interpret American politics and the analysis of specific case studies. This one semester course, required for seniors, is designed toexamine the interrelatedness and complexity of current global issues. The class will examine the role of Christian justice in relationship to global conflict resolution.

History Electives:


Students will develop an understanding of basic microeconomic principles, including the law of supply and demand, scarcity, the role of the market place, competition, and choice. In their study of macroeconomics, topics covered are inflation and unemployment, measures of national wealth, the economic role of the government, and international trade and finance. Personal economic decision-making is integrated throughout the course in such areas as investing, budgeting, and consumer information.

History of Classical Music:

This course provides a historical approach to the understanding and appreciation of classical (art) music from antiquity to the present. A survey of the main historical periods of music will be presented.

The Age of Genocide:

This course provides historical, cultural, psychological, philosophical, political, and artistic approaches to understanding the Holocaust, including an examination of the role of anti-Semitism, Nazism, eugenics, bureaucracy, technology, attitudes and participation of “ordinary Germans,” and the role of army and police units in its formation and execution. Additionally, the course will explore other examples of 20th and 21st century genocide and “ethnic cleansing” (Armenia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Sudan.) Prerequisite: Considering the maturity of the content, this course is only open to seniors.

United States Since 1945:

This course details historic events, politically, militarily, socially, and culturally which the United States experienced during World War II, Cold War, Turbulent '60's, Vietnam War, and Black History in American Society.

AP Macroeconomics:

Advanced Placement Macroeconomics will equip students with an in depth understanding of the tenets of economics on an aggregate scale. Students will study economic behaviors, as well as gain understand in measures of overall economic well being, including gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment rate. Students will be able to use those measures to apply and evaluate the macroeconomic conditions of the economy. Furthermore, students will gain insights into global economics, and how economies worldwide are affectedby trade, finance, and market shocks. A final piece of the course will examine comparative economics, studying different schools of economic thought employed throughout the world.



Department Philosophy:

The Gonzaga Prep mathematics department believes the study of mathematics leads students to a deeper understanding of the patterns of God's creation and provides a language to uniquely describe those patterns.

Students experience mathematics through active, guided discovery through which they learn important mathematical concepts and procedures which promote innovative thinking, varied problem solving strategies, inductive and deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Through the study of mathematics students fully realize their own unique gifts and academic potential, prepare themselves for further educational opportunities, and develop cognitive skills to promote justice in an ever changing world.

Department Requirements:

6 semesters required for graduation.

Course Sequence:

9th 10th 11th 12th
Algebra 1B Geometry/Alg Alg 2/Trig

College Alg



Algebra 1


Hon Geo

Alg 2/Trig

Hono Alg 2

College Alg


Intro to Calc

AP Statistics

Hon Algebra 1


Hon Geo

Alg 2/Trig

Hon Alg 2

Hon Geo

Alg 2/Trig

Hon Alg 2


Intro to Calc


AP Calculus

AP Statistics

**Students may gain entrance to honors courses between each school year or lose honors privileges at anytime.


Algebra 1B:

The first year of a two-year sequence. In the first year students will cover 2/3 of the standard Algebra 1 curriculum. The course content includes a review of essential arithmetic skills, explores and develops algebraic thinking and concepts, in addition to practicing and applying algebra skills in a variety of problem solving situations.

Algebra I or Honors Algebra I:

This course introduces concepts such as linear and quadratic equations, graphing, polynomials, factoring and problem solving. An honors section is available for those with teacher recommendation.

Geometry or Honors Geometry:

This course introduces students to geometry vocabulary, postulates, and theorems. In addition to the study of proofs, as applied to plane figures, symbolic logic is introduced. The curriculum includes a significant review of algebra and applications of algebra to analytic geometry. An honors section is available for those with teacher recommendation. Prerequisite: Algebra I.


This course introduces students to geometry vocabulary, postulates, and theorems. In addition to the study of proofs, as applied to plane figures, symbolic logic is introduced. The curriculum includes a significant review of algebra and applications of algebra to analytic geometry. Prerequisite: Algebra I.

College Algebra:

Topics for study include a review of the fundamental concepts of Algebra I and Algebra II. This course strengthens and expands the algebraic concepts of equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of equations and inequalities. The course explores topics of matrices and determinants in addition to sequences, series and probability. The course is intended to prepare students for study of college level pre-calculus, statistics, or algebra.

Algebra II/Trigonometry or Honors Algebra II/ Trig:

This curriculum advances the students' algebraic skills by focusing on the conic graphs and polynomial graphs, logarithmic and exponential functions, as well as trigonometric functions. The topics prepare the student for pre-calculus analysis. An honors section is available for those with teacher recommendation. Prerequisite: Geometry.


The course includes advanced concepts in equations, graphing and trigonometry. The students will be introduced to vectors, sequences, series, probability and elementary calculus. An honors section is available to those with teacher recommendation.

Introduction to Calculus:

This course is a combination of Pre-Calculus concepts combined with beginning Calculus concepts. Students will review concepts from Algebra 2, Trigonometry, and Geometry. The students will be introduced to sequences, series, probability and conics. Students will also be introduced to many concepts in Calculus including limits, derivatives, and their applications. Prerequisite: Honors Algebra 2/Trig.

Advanced Placement Calculus/Calculus:

This course will provide a college level treatment of differential and integral calculus. Trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions will be explored. Problem solving skills in areas of exponential growth, related rates and maximum/minimums will be introduced. Students who have successfully completed this course are recommended to take the Advanced Placement Exam for college credit. Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus.

Advanced Placement Statistics:

A course for students planning to study the humanities or social sciences in college. This course will address the analysis of data, central tendencies, variance, sampling, inference from samples, linear regression, and correlation as well as probability distributions. Many examples from the social sciences will be presented in AP Statistics. Graphing calculators will be used extensively. Prerequisite: Algebra II/Trigonometry

Honors Pre Calculus (University of Washington):

University of Washington Honor Pre-calculus contains basic properties of function, graphs; with emphasis on linear, quadratic, trigonometric, exponential functions and their inverses with an emphasis on multi-step problem solving geared toward science and engineering. Successful completion will result in 5 quarter credits from the University of Washington for Math 120 Pre-calculus. Course fee required.



Department Philosophy:

The occupational education department believes that cura personalis is important to the development of Ignatian leaders. To achieve this, the students will be given educational opportunities to develop self-sufficiency and lifelong interests. Through these studies students will develop manual dexterity through hands-on activities, become knowledgeable consumers, develop written communication skills, and improve their technological skills.

Department Requirements:

2 semesters required for graduation.



This course is a general survey of the field of psychology and its various branches. The goals of the course are twofold: 1) to understand our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and 2) to understand what types of careers are available in the field of psychology.

AP Psychology and Psychology (UW):

This course will provide you with a general understanding of what psychology is about, why it is important, and why many of us find it a fascinating topic to study. You will learn about the basic subject matter of psychology, various subfields and theoretical perspectives, how psychologists study behavior, and how psychological knowledge has been applied to improve the quality of life. This course is a prerequisite to more advanced psychology courses. The topics covered in this class are explored more fully in these advanced classes. Thus, if you are thinking of majoring in psychology or simply wish to learn more about it, this course can help you decide what areas (i.e., subfields) of psychology are most interesting to you and, therefore, what advanced courses you might want to take. (Dr. Michael Passer, UW professor) *This course is taught concurrently with AP Psychology. Students enrolled in Ap Psychology must take the AP Psychology exam in May. Prerequisites: 3.5 g.p.a., sophomore, junior, or senior standing.

Single Survival:

This course is an introduction to nutrition and food preparation, personal finance including income tax preparation and housing, and sewing a sweatshirt. The cooking will include breads, main dishes, and desserts.

Life Skills:

This course is a continuation of the Single Survival course which will prepare students to make healthy food choices and also prepare them for life in the consumer world. Students will learn how to prepare breads, main dishes, meats, and ethnic foods. In addition, each student will create their own sewing project. Other topics include budgeting, checking accounts, housing, and employment skills. Prerequisite: Single Survival.

Financial Literacy:

The financial literacy course will introduce sound money management skills and financial planning processes. It will begin to develop positive behaviors that are necessary to attain financial maturity and achieve secure futures. Topics covered will include budgeting, credit and debt management, checking accounts, insurance, housing alternatives, and career/education choices affecting your financial planning.


The yearbook class includes preparing the yearbook pages, designing the cover, preparing artwork, and soliciting advertising.Prerequisites: sophomore, junior, senior only.

Prep Period:

Prep Period is a quiet study hall designed to support students during the day by providing time, free of distraction, for study. Students with a cumulative GPA below a 2.5 will be required to have a Prep Period in their school day.

Gonzaga University Dual Enrollment:

Students may enroll concurrently in courses at Gonzaga University. Prerequisites: junior, senior, 3.5 GPA, counselor permission. Course fee from GU.

AP Computer Science Principles:

This is a year-long survey course of computer science principles. Students will learn how computing and technology influence the world around you. As part of the course, you’ll create digital projects, such as videos and mobile apps, to address real-world issues in the same way that writers, programmers, engineers, and designers would. No prior coding experience is needed.



Department Philosophy:

The purpose of the physical education department at Gonzaga Preparatory School is to instill in all students a knowledge, understanding and appreciation for the unified functioning of the body and mind. This will provide an educational opportunity, which will form Christian leaders spiritually, intellectually, physically, and culturally.

Department Requirements:

2 semesters required for graduation. One semester must be in freshman year and one year must be in sophomore year and include a quarter of nutrition.

Course Sequence:

College Prep Electives
9th Physical Education 9th
10th Health and Fitness

Advanced PE

Strength/Weight Cond.


Advanced PE

Strength/Weight Cond.


Advanced PE

Strength/Weight Cond.


Physical Education - Grade 9:

In this class, an emphasis is placed on conditioning, fitness and teamwork. Activities include a variety of team sports, tennis and an introduction to the weight room. Classroom units include: Elements of Fitness, Body Image and Alcohol. Participation, not skill level, is emphasized at the freshman level. Semester only.

Health and Fitness:

A Health curriculum is taught during this semester in addition to activities with an emphasis on movement. This course deals with the importance of cardiovascular exercise coupled with proper nutrition as the most efficient way to maintain lifelong fitness. Heart rate monitors are utilized with activities throughout the semester. Semester only.

Advanced Physical Education:

A class open to juniors and seniors designed to relieve stress and improve fitness, while having great fun! This class is an activity based PE class, including aerobic team games, individual lifetime sports, and other creative forms of exercise. Grades will be determined based on activeparticipation and attendance.

Strength/Weight Conditioning:

This advanced conditioning course offers weight programs for in and out of season athletes as well as a general conditioning program for non-athletes interested in personal strength development. Available to sophomores, juniors and seniors.



Department Philosophy:

The purpose of the science department at Gonzaga Prep is to instill in our students an appreciation of God's creation through the study of science, its relationship to their lives and its importance in the spectrum of educational values. We encourage students to open their eyes to phenomena occurring around them and then help them formulate in their own minds an overall picture of the natural world in which they live.


Our curriculum is relevant, real and preparatory for college and for life. It is presented such that students can recognize connections to their own reality and experiences. They are encouraged to reflect upon their experiences and apply what they have learned to life beyond our community. This may be accomplished through hands-on lab experiences, demonstrations, and exposure to contemporary environmental issues and media events. It is our goal that students choose to pursue science related curricula beyond high school and that they are well prepared for whatever experiences they may encounter.

Department Requirements:

3 years required for graduation. One year must be chemistry and one year must be biology. All students are encouraged to take science in their senior year.

Course Sequence:

College Prep Honors
9th Biology Biology
10th Chemistry Honors Chemistry
11th Adv Bio/Zoology, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Science Adv Bio/Zoology, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics
12th Adv Bio/Zoology, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Science, Physics Adv Bio/Zoology, Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Physics



This college preparatory lab course includes instruction in scientific method, cell structure and function, genetics, gene expression and protein building,evolution, molecular biology, botany, ecology and animal diversity.

AP Biology:

AP Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a first year general biology course in college. Major concepts in biology are covered in depth and students will be expected to be able to handle rigorous college level laboratory experiences. All enrolled students must take an Advanced Placement Biology exam at the end of the year. Success on this exam may translate into the student's ability to start their college career enrolled in a second year biology course work at their chosen university. Prerequisites: Honor Biology, Chemistry, Algebra II/Trig.

Advanced Biology/Zoology:

This biology course is a survey of the Kingdom Animalia. Course work is centered on laboratory instruction and lectures as we investigate the evolution and adaptation of animals. Special attention will also be given to ecology and contemporary environmental issues. Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry.

Chemistry or Honors Chemistry:

A survey laboratory course in introductory chemistry. Topics covered will include matter and energy, measure and calculating, chemical formulas, molecules, chemical equations, quantitative relationships, bonding and structure, periodic table, gases, acids and bases, oxidation, organic and biochemistry and nuclear chemistry. An honors section is available for those with teacher recommendation. Prerequisite: Freshman Science

Advanced Placement Chemistry:

AP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of a first year general chemistry course in college. Students in AP Chemistry attain a great depth of understanding of fundamental concepts as well as a reasonable competence in dealing with chemical problems. This is done through a college level textbook, rigorous coverage of topics, emphasis on chemical calculations and mathematical formulations of principals, and college level laboratory work. At the end of the course, students are expected to take the AP Chemistry Exam. While AP Chemistry does involve a serious time commitment both at home and at school, the course enables the students, once they get to college, to undertake, as freshman, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their college or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. Prerequisites: Chemistry/Honor Chemistry, Algebra II/Trig.

Anatomy and Physiology:

This is a semester course that focuses on human anatomy and physiology. It will involve lecture and lab experiences as major systems and functions of humans are explored. Prerequisite: Seniors, Juniors as space is available

Environmental Science:

This is a semester course that will apply concepts of Biology and Chemistry to investigate environmental parameters and contemporary environmental concerns. Lecture, discussion, contemporary readings, field-trips and lab work will be included. Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry.

AP Physics:

AP Physics is designed to be the equivalent of a first year general physics course in college. Students in AP Physics will attain a greater depth of understanding of concepts. The course includes topics in; Newtonian mechanics (Statics and Kinematics), Fluids, Thermodynamics, Electricity, Magnetism, Waves, Optics, and Atomic and Nuclear physics. This is done through a college level textbook, rigorous coverage of topics, emphasis on mathematical formulations of principals, and college level laboratory work. At the end of the course, students are expected to take the AP Physics (B) Exam. While AP Physics does involve a serious time commitment both at home and at school, the course enables the students, once they get to college, to undertake, as freshman, second-year work in the Physics sequence at their college or to register in courses in other fields where general physics is a prerequisite. Prerequisites: Honors Algebra II/Trig.

Physics or Honors Physics:

This is an introductory course in physics. Topics will include classical mechanics, heat, light, sound, and quantum mechanics. An honors section is available for those with teacher recommendation. Prerequisites: Geometry and Algebra II/Trigonometry.



Philosophy Statement:

The Theology Department's mission can be understood best in terms of the school's mission to provide the intellectual and spiritual preparation necessary for the students to be Christian leaders. To assist in intellectual preparation in the subject of theology, the department works from scripture and addresses doctrinal and moral issues in all classes, and adapts its approach and methods in light of the subject matter in each class.

As regards dogma, the department's mission is to present orthodoxy from a Catholic perspective. As regards doctrines, traditions and contemporary issues, the department's mission is to aid students in making informed choices, by teaching skills of critical thinking, research and writing; pointing out where Christian teachings may at times be counter-cultural; providing opportunities for students to articulate their views; and encouraging discernment as an essential part of the student's prayer life. The department's final goal is to direct informed leaders toward service of others.

Department Requirements:

Three years (six semesters) of classes are required for graduation. There is no tracking (honors, accelerated or the like) in the theology classes.

Course Sequence:

9th 10th 11th 12th**
Old&New Testament Intro to Christian Life* Church History and Doctrine Ethics*

*One semester course

**Semester electives are also available


Old&New Testament (Freshman):

A study of major themes presented throughout both Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Students will become familiarized with characters, events, circumstances, and reflections of God's people. Students will study passages of scripture in light of God's ongoing relationship with His people throughout history.

Intro to Christian Life (Sophomore):

This semester-long course treats the major doctrines of Catholicism, with special emphasis upon the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, the sacramental life, and the Christian call to live a moral life.

Church History and Doctrine (Junior):

This course makes use of history as a means to introduceissues, ideas, and people of Christian tradition. The course also shows the historical roots of today's institutions and practices, such as the Eucharist, Church councils, religious orders and the many Protestant denominations. The course then moves to a discussion of what Christians believe, and how they live out those beliefs in our society. The course deals systematically with fundamental teachings about Jesus, the Spirit, salvation, the Church, the sacraments and lay ministry.

Christianity and Western Thought:

The course will look at some of the great questions raised in the Western world in modern times. The course shows how Christians have responded to such questions as Why does a loving God allow good people to suffer? How can the church's claims to truth be reconciled with scientific claims to truth?

Can modern methods of interpretation be used when we read sacred scripture?

In a pluralistic world do all philosophies and religions have equal claim to our assent?

Church and the Arts: Music, Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Movies:

Bernini, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Chartes Cathedral, Stained Glass windows, The Sistine Chapel, The Pieta, St. Peters Basilica, Handel's Messiah, Mozart, Beethoven, One Bread, One Body, On Eagles Wings, Notre Dame Victory March, The Sound of Music, Nunsense, Bing Crosby, Movies of the 1940's, Dead Man Walking. What do these have in common? All were inspired by or have direct connections to the Church. In part one of this class, we will explore how the Church has historically contributed to the ‘arts. Part two will be a cultural and theological analysis of the relationship between the Church and Hollywood, focusing especially on how movies portrays religious-themed topics like God, angels, heaven, hell, Catholic practices, priests and nuns.

Current Events and Faith:

This course will challenge the students to critically think about our modern world and faith, the Church and spirituality. Students will be asked to consider current events and how the Church discerns a response to these events. The class will analyze scripture and doctrine to discover how a person of faith can navigate the modern world. The ultimate objective of this course is to prepare the student to enter into the world with eyes of faith.

Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation and Convergence:

Is the Church anti-science? Can one be a Catholic and believe in evolution? Can a believer reconcile the Genesis accounts of creation and Noah's Ark with the truth ofphysics and geology? Is Christianity responsible for the environmental crisis? Is the Catholic Church against stem cell research? In this course we will explore these questions, as well as the classic cases of the relationship between the Church and science, like the ‘Galileo Affair' and the ‘Scopes Monkey Trial.' Methods of inquiry will include reading historical documents, watching movies, class discussion and research on the contributions of Jesuits in the sciences.

Ethics (Senior, Semester Required):

This course is a systemic treatment of moral questions from a Christian perspective. The foundational topics are the freedom and responsibility of each person, the meaning of “conscience:” and the importance of conscience formation, and the eight principles of Catholic social teaching, beginning with the dignity of the human person. Major topics covered are justice in social and economic policy, business ethics, medical ethics, the ethics of war and peace, and sexual ethics. Intro to New Testament Greek (Senior, Semester Elective).

Ignatian Spirituality (Semester Elective):

To develop physically one does exercises (e.g., running, swimming, lifting, etc.). To develop spiritually one must also do exercises (e.g., imagining, praying, meditating, reading, reflecting, being quiet, discussing, etc.) and that is what students will do. This course is for seniors who desire a more mature spiritual life and who do not want to go to college with a grade school faith.

Faith in Leadership:

Faith in Leadership is a hands-on leadership in ministry course which also requires service work and preparation outside of class time. It will provide leadership opportunities in the areas of liturgy, school activities, and service. Persons taking this one semester course are required to attend at least two school liturgies per month. Students will demonstrate a genuine interest in spiritual exploration, community service, and faith sharing in class.



Department Philosophy:

The World Language Department strives to create global citizens. Students will develop an ability to function in a foreign culture by employing and understanding effective communication through the spoken and written word.

Classical languages seek to introduce students to the languages and civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome and to provide students with the tools they need to read Latin with comprehension.

Through the study of a world or a classical language, its history and culture, students develop a worldview through which they gain a fuller perspective of themselves and their global community.

In accordance with the Jesuit tradition, the language department guides students to heighten awareness of the richness that exists in diversity. By promoting exchanges and service to others, students develop a sense of justice and respect for all cultures.

Department Requirements:

Two consecutive years of the same language are required for graduation.

Course Sequence:

College Prep* Honors
9th Language I(B) or Language I Honors Language I

Language I(B) or Language I

Language II(B) or Language II

Honors Language II

Language II(B) or Language II

Language III

Honors Language III

A.P. Spanish


  • Language could mean French, Latin, or Spanish.
  • Honors placement in the freshmen year is based on test scores. Honors placement after the first year is based on performance in first year class and teacher recommendation.


First Year Courses:

First year courses are an introduction to the target language, its people and customs. Students will gainfoundational grammar and vocabulary which will enable them to communicate at a basic level; this includes asking and answering questions in the target language, and developing skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Culture, history, and geography will be introduced. Placement tests are required for students entering Prep with prior language experience. An honors section is available upon meeting placement test requirements as well as teacher recommendation.

Second Year Courses:

Second year courses build on the language skills acquired in level I. Language becomes more complex with a shift in expectation for the students to synthesize what they know, shape their own spontaneous communication, and create products in the target language. Placement tests are required for students entering Prep with prior language experience. An honors section is available upon meeting placement test requirements as well as teacher recommendation. Prerequisites: Language I

Third Year Courses:

Third year courses build on the language skills acquired in levels I and II. The purpose of the course is to reinforce, master, and expand skills previously acquired by the students, using correct grammatical patterns, all verb tenses, and advanced vocabulary. Computer programs, videos, films and other supplemental materials help provide a cultural context for the student. An honors section is available upon meeting placement test requirements as well as teacher recommendation. In addition to high school credit, students have the opportunity to earn credit from Eastern Washington University at a reduced cost. Prerequisites: Language II

Fourth Year Courses:

Fourth year courses prepare students to perform at a high level of proficiency in the four basic language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. The purpose of the course is to reinforce, master, and expand skills previously acquired by the students, using correct grammatical patterns, all verb tenses, and advanced vocabulary while expanding knowledge of the culture, civilization, and literature of countries that speak the target language. Advanced Placement courses are available by request in French, Latin, and Spanish. Dual enrollment at Gonzaga University is offered for students who have completed fourth year courses. Prerequisites: Language III

Advanced Placement Spanish Language:

This course prepares students to perform at a high level of proficiency in the four basic language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Interested students maytake the Advanced Placement Spanish exam at the conclusion of the course for possible college credit. Prerequisites: Spanish III, teacher recommendation.

Advanced Placement Latin:

In the 2011-2012 AP Latin syllabus, students will read the magnum opus of Publius Vergilius Maro (70 BCE-19BCE), the greatest poet of ancient Rome and arguably the greatest poet ever. All students will translate excerpts from the Aeneid, read the entirety of the work in translation, analyze the Aeneid, for its literary merit, appreciate the poem for the impact it can have on our lives, and read other Latin authors to improve their reading ability and understanding of Augustan Rome. While this course is challenging, the opportunity to explore the works of antiquity in the original language is a rewarding experience.

Latin American Connections:

This course is a semester long course in which students will learn the culture and regional colloquialisms of Latin American countries through film, art, guest speakers, music and dance, food, and literature. To help with their understanding of each country's culture, students will also learn the basic geography, history, and religion of each country studied. Students may take two semesters of this class, but it is an elective and does not meet the language requirement for graduation. No prior language experience is necessary.