Boys Secular Studies Curriculum


9th Grade English

In this course, students use a collection of contemporary and classic works of literature, poems, various articles, and academic reviews as a platform to analysing literature, writing essays, creating projects, collaborating with classmates, and presenting in class. Students will apply knowledge of literary elements to better understand works of literature. Students will write essays, reviews, and poems. Students will be subjected to appropriate grammatical conventions through daily warmups and students will explore new vocabulary weekly. Students will work in pairs, groups and on their own in class and outside of class to accomplish daily goals. Homework is assigned daily and typically relates to the given day’s lesson.

9th Grade Honors English

The ninth-grade year at VTHS is designed to provide a vast array of images in literature coinciding with the development of Western culture, society, and history with a special emphasis on the concept of justice. In the first semester we will use central representative texts from the Ancient Greek period to examine how the Greeks conceived of justice in both the Homeric and High-Athenian eras. In the second semester, students will also specifically trace the development of the concept of justice as it evolves from culture to culture over the centuries. A concomitant field of study is the emergence of various genres: students will encounter epic, Greek tragedy, Shakespearean comedy, lyric verse, and the novel. In writing, students will concentrate on several essay modes and fine tune their analysis of literature through paragraph writing.

Continuing English

The sophomore year continues the survey of Western Literature, focusing on English language texts from Beowulf to Dickens. As students widen their exposure to the great texts of the West, they deepen their writing skills with essays of literary analysis while continuing to learn more essay modes. In the junior year, students prepare for the AP English Language and Composition course through a broad range of American texts, many of them non-fiction. The AP Literature Course of senior year returns students to works of the imagination, where past texts read include Moby-Dick, Hamlet, and Don Quixote. In both final years, students continue their analyses of literature in take-home essays, while simultaneously training for the six timed essays contained in both exams.


9th-10th Grade Math

Ninth and tenth grade mathematics at Valley Torah, includes, at both regular and honors levels, Algebra I and Geometry. In Algebra I, students learn to solve and graph linear equations and inequalities, factor and operate on polynomials, and are introduced to quadratic and rational functions. Geometry provides an in-depth exploration of plane, coordinate, and abstract Geometry, and serves as a critical bridge between Algebra and the world of Geometric phenomena. Topics covered include congruence, similarity, polygons, lines, circles, and right triangle trigonometry. Students will use logic and critical reasoning skills to build mathematical proofs, experiment with transformations in the plane, use coordinates to algebraically express geometric theorems, and use volume and surface area formulas to solve real-world problems. 

11th-12th Grade Math

With several tracks available, 11th and 12th grade mathematics at Valley Torah includes Algebra II, Precalculus, and AP Calculus. In Algebra II and Precalculus, students use their skills acquired in Algebra and Geometry to deepen their understanding of functions and their applications, in preparation for the study of Calculus. Covered topics include number systems, vectors, trigonometry, conics, systems of equations and matrices. In addition to a rigorous analysis of the above topics, these courses place additional emphasis on a mature development of the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practices, as outlined in the Common Core requirements for High School Mathematics.


9th Grade Biology

Biology is an introduction to the world of modern biology, taught from a molecular perspective. The course will focus on how biological structure relates to function. Students will study levels of biological organization, cell biology, passive and active transport mechanisms, enzyme and protein chemistry, DNA structure and function as it relates to the Central Dogma of Biology), DNA Replication/Transcription/Translation, Mitosis, Meiosis, Genetics, Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration. A minimum of 20% of class time will be devoted to preparation, performance, and discussion of laboratory experimentation.

9th Grade Honors Biology

The Honors Biology course further develops each topic of the Regular College- Preparatory course (9th Grade Biology), by providing additional breadth and depth to each subject area. Significant attention to critical thinking skills and synthetic reasoning are an area of focus throughout the course. Laboratory experimentation involves a more quantitative approach, than the regular course. Grade-level reading and note- taking skills are a requirement of this class.

Continuing Science

Valley Torah’s science program continues in 10th grade with Chemistry and Honors Chemistry. Physics and Eco-Biology are offered in 11th grade. 12th grade provides the seniors the opportunity to take Advanced Placement Biology or Chemistry.


9th Grade World History

In World History, we evaluate post Renaissance world history major turning point events that shaped the modern world. We trace the rise of democratic ideas and contextualize them to root events. Students develop an understand of the correlations of past world events to modern times, and relate these turning points to their historical, political, economical, cultural, and geographical contexts. In understanding that international relations have multiple perspectives, students analyse documents and other data to contextualize, source, and corroborate historical information. 

Honors & AP World History

In World History we develop and use the same skills and practices used by historians in our examination of various historical periods ranging from 8000 B.C.E. to the present. The course provides five themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures.

US History

In US History we focus on developing historical thinking skills such as Sourcing, Contextualization, Close Reading and Corroboration using primary and secondary sources. Students will study major events and turning points in American history and examine their context and effects upon the lives we lead today. In preparation for college and the AP test they will engage in challenging readings and exercises meant to prepare them for future academic achievement.



The robotics program teaches engineering and group collaboration skills, while building student passion and excitement for STEM. The specific program used is VEX Robotics. Working in teams, students are tasked with building the robot frame out of various materials including metal rods, plates, screws, gears, and wheels etc., connecting all motors, hubs, and other electronic components, and finally, programming the robot to perform various tasks, and overcome various levels of challenges.


Learning to code is learning how to solve problems. In this course we will explore the basic concepts of computer programming using the Python programming language. This class is an introduction to computer science and programming and is intended for students with little or no programming experience. Students will learn to design, write, and debug computer programs. The coursework will use the Python programming language.


The purpose of Foundations in Personal Finance is to empower students with knowledge and application of basic financial principles so that they can make sound financial decisions for life. The goal is to enhance students’ financial literacy skills and enable students to develop informed money management strategies. Students will learn about saving, budgeting, debt, consumer awareness, investing and retirement, insurance, careers, taxes, and tzedakah.


During this course students will form groups, brainstorm ideas, and decide on the type of business they’d like to run. Students will research and provide answers to questions such as cost of procurement of materials or leases related to their businesses. They will go through the stages of planning, marketing and running their businesses through the computer-based modules and both inside and outside class activities. Students will be required to learn about and understand some basic principles of accounting, marketing and business administration. Throughout the course students will also gain experience in presentation as they are required to share the progress of their business with the instructor and their fellow students. Work on their project will be broken up by videos and workshops. In addition, certain class periods will be spent learning about the history of money, how banking works, some real estate principles, and various information about the capital markets.


Physical Education classes tie into our athletics program, giving students in 9th & 10th grade time outside on our beautiful Sports Court.

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