High School (9-12)

Educational Philosophy

Pillars Preparatory Academy will have a small school environment where students have access to individual atten­tion from teachers and the administration, which improves student outcomes, grades and test scores. Thanks to our moderate class sizes, teachers can modify lessons and uti­lize different pedagogical techniques to cater to the individual styles of learning. The Curriculum of Pillars Preparatory Academy offers students an opportunity to study a rigorous curriculum. Standardized testing is a focal point of the Curriculum. SAT Preparation courses are offered starting from 9th Grade. AP and Honor courses will be offered for those who have excelled at advanced pace. Our low student to teacher ratio and supporting envi­ronment, allow for teachers to work together with students, parents and administrators to ensure that each student maximizes his/her true potential.

College preparation begins in the 8th grade, enabling middle school students to obtain High School credits and to take PSATs in order to create an individualized plan which will yield the highest score possible in the SATs. Instilling a rigorous curriculum will prepare our graduates to meet the academic expectations of top colleges. Dual enroll­ment program, AP courses and honor classes will bring the college atmosphere to Pillars Prep Academy. Stu­dents will learn from highly qualified teach­ers. The teacher dynamic ranges from in­ternationally educated and domestically educated individuals. This allows for a highly diversified staff, which in turn mirrors the diversity of our student body.

English Language

Department Head: Rhonda Moustafa / Eman Osman

Department Philosophy
The English Department strives to create a rigorous and academically challenging curriculum. The Department aims to foster creativity in students who read closely, write precisely, collaborate effectively, reflect purposefully, and solve problems ethically. To that end, students will be exposed to various literary works that will expand their views of the world. It is our hope that students will look at the world with a 360 degree lens. The English faculty is committed to developing communication skills in students that will enable them to be successful in college and beyond. We want students to develop their own unique voices and to understand the importance of literature and language in their everyday lives and find personal connections to the texts that enhance their understanding of themselves and the world.

In our English classes, the English Department and our students are called upon to think and ask why? Through our exploration of literature and the development of our voices through our oral and written works, we aspire to make the world a better place. We will read short stories, novels, plays, fiction, and non-fiction. We will hone our grammar and writing skills through various writing assignments including narratives and essays. We will share our thoughts and ideas with our classmates while sharpening our speaking skills through speeches and presentations.

Standards

Course List with a short description of each course and course prerequisite, if any: www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/

Goals

The Language Arts Department has an integrated program that stresses various forms of classic and contemporary literature. There is emphasis on basic skills, study skills, English grammar (usage and mechanics), vocabulary, spelling, literary concepts, note taking, writing techniques and styles (penmanship), research skills, reading strategies & comprehension, and speaking & listening skills.

English I: Introduction to Literature CP and Honors

English I is a course designed for the expansion of reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills. Formal lessons are designed to increase the students’ working vocabulary, both oral and written, as a life skill. A broad range of language skills will be stressed. An emphasis will be placed on mechanics and style in an effort to enable students to write in a clear expository style.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Compose short essays containing an introduction, body and conclusion
  • Develop vocabulary through a systematic program of study
  • Read books on his/her independent reading level
  • Employ test-taking strategies to improve scores on standardized tests
  • Make proper use of print and non-print sources, including online
  • Read and discuss assigned works of fiction and nonfiction
  • Write structured reactions to the studied works
  • Prepare and present brief oral reports and speeches
  • Engage in structured listening, speaking, and viewing activities
  • Maintain an informal journal related to class readings and personal experience
  • Ascertain topics and main ideas in various readings
  • Employ an organized, systematic method for taking notes
  • Explore career opportunities
  • Collaborate by sharing ideas, examples and insights productively and respectfully in informal discussion/conversation
  • Utilize appropriate multimedia technology to present an oral project.

Course Texts

  • Glencoe McGraw Hill Literature: Course 4
  • Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary Level D
  • Beowulf by Seamus Heaney
  • A Long Way Gone by Ismael Beah
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

English II: World Literature CP and Honors

English II or World Literature undertakes to send students on a literary journey of reading and writing through a variety of texts taken from non-English speaking origins. Students will read and analyze a diverse set of literary and nonfiction texts by comparing and contrasting the techniques authors use in literature of varying cultures and eras. Students will grasp a thorough understanding of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and paragraph structure throughout the course. There will be a heavy emphasis on using clear, concise writing through writing as a process in expository and analytic frameworks. With an emphasis on expository and analytical writing, students will expand their understanding of writing as a process and develop their skills in revising to address a specific audience and purpose. Students will complete vocabulary assessments in anticipation of preparing for the SAT/ACT. In addition to shorter papers, students will draft one research paper and will have a full working knowledge of the research process including citations and use of MLA format. Collaborative learning will be stressed throughout the duration of the course.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Develop vocabulary through a systematic program of study
  • Read books on his/her independent reading level
  • Employ test-taking strategies to improve scores on standardized tests (SAT/ACT)
  • Make proper use of print and non-print sources, including online
  • Read and discuss assigned works of fiction and nonfiction
  • Write structured reactions to the studied works
  • Prepare and present brief oral reports and speeches
  • Engage in structured listening, speaking, and viewing activities
  • Ascertain topics and main ideas in various readings
  • Employ an organized, systematic method for taking notes
  • Collaborate by sharing ideas, examples and insights productively and respectfully in informal discussion/conversation
  • Utilize appropriate multimedia technology to present an oral project.
  • Compose a research paper using MLA format

Course Texts

  • Glencoe McGraw Hill Literature: Course 5
  • Antigone by Sophocles (Translation)
  • Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck
  • A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Selections “From the Margin: Writings in Italian American Literature”
  • Selected short stories
  • Selected poetry

English III: American Literature

English III is the study of the form, content, and analysis of literary genres is continued through a chronological study of the writings of American authors finally concentrating on modern American writers. Cultural changes in the United States are observed through writings, which reflect the various philosophies of a growing and expanding country. Students in the honors section of American Literature engage in a more expanded study of each author than the study in the regular sections. They are expected to produce essays with an emphasis on analysis and divergent thinking culminating in the writing of a research paper.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Read and analyze literary selections representative of diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Trace the development of drama, poetry, nonfiction and fiction
  • Define and offer examples of a variety of literary terms and techniques found in literature
  • Read in-depth selections considered the master works of major writers
  • Identify universal themes in literature
  • Compare and contrast the treatments of similar themes in different works and time periods
  • Relate ideas presented in all literary works studied to present day situations
  • Explore the arts as a reflection of enduring values and essential human nature
  • Practice critical reading skills with emphasis on understanding an author’s style and tone
  • Identify and explain the motivations of characters
  • Discuss and analyze the criteria which determine why certain works have survived over time
  • Evaluate the literary works studied as reflections of the society producing them
  • Prepare written and oral presentations using research skills
  • Write in a variety of styles: expository, narrative and persuasive
  • Develop and review vocabulary in preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • Develop strategies for responding to comprehension, vocabulary and writing on the SATs
  • Integrate the disciplines of music, art, literature, history and philosophy
  • Incorporate multi-media projects into one or more of the units of study

Course Texts

  • Glencoe-McGraw Hill American Literature
  • Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary Level F
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Awakening (selections) by Kate Chopin
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

English IV: British Literature

This course introduces students to the major authors, literature, and thoughts of British literature. Students will consider how British literature has affected and been affected by the world. Identifying and examining the central themes and ideas of British literature is at the core of the course. Students will critically read, examine, interpret, and discuss a variety of British literature from several eras using different lenses from aesthetic to analytical. Students will perfect their writing by composing analytical essays, creative works, and in-class writing assignments.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Read and analyze literary selections representative of diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Trace the development of drama, poetry, nonfiction and fiction
  • Define and offer examples of a variety of literary terms and techniques found in literature
  • Read in-depth selections considered the master works of major writers
  • Identify universal themes in literature
  • Compare and contrast the treatments of similar themes in different works and time periods
  • Relate ideas presented in all literary works studied to present day situations
  • Explore the arts as a reflection of enduring values and essential human nature
  • Practice critical reading skills with emphasis on understanding an author’s style and tone
  • Identify and explain the motivations of characters
  • Discuss and analyze the criteria which determine why certain works have survived over time
  • Evaluate the literary works studied as reflections of the society producing them
  • Prepare written and oral presentations using research skills
  • Write in a variety of styles: expository, narrative and persuasive
  • Develop and review vocabulary in preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • Develop strategies for responding to comprehension, vocabulary and writing on the SATs
  • Integrate the disciplines of music, art, literature, history and philosophy
  • Incorporate multi-media projects into one or more of the units of study

AP Language and Composition

The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to mold students into skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical modes who can proficiently compose in a variety of contexts. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effective writing. We will discuss how to read primary and secondary sources carefully, to synthesize materials from these texts into one’s own writing, and to cite sources using conventions recommended by the Modern Language Association (MLA). Students will absorb and analyze material from primarily non fiction pieces, as the majority of the AP exam asks students to examine nonfiction works. Students will review and practice all essay types including rhetorical analysis, argumentative, and synthesis as well as practice multiple choice questions through periodic quizzes. The goal of the course is to push students toward receiving a “5” on the AP examination administered by College Board. The course will both introduce students to a variety of texts as well as spend ample time preparing for the AP examination.

Course Learning Objectives

Students are evaluated on the basis of major papers, homework, quality and character of class participation and involvement, and AP-style writing prompts. Major papers are a significant portion of each quarter’s grade. Students earn both numbered scores and grades on AP prompts they take during the year. The grade associated with particular AP essay scores varies according to the time of year that is, a very good essay written in November earns a higher grade than a similar essay written in April. That’s because students are at work building the skills needed to succeed as the year proceeds. Student performance in connection with important course components contributes to each student’s final grade for the course in the following manner:

In this course, student thinking, writing, reading, listening, and speaking are at the center of class activity. Grading is viewed in this context. Teachers continually assess student performance and progress, as evidenced by papers, in-class task commitment, homework, and daily preparation. Course products are regularly reviewed. One goal of our evaluation is to enable students to become more comfortable with self-assessment.

Course Texts

  • The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric by Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, Robin Dissin Aufses
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (selections)
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (selections)
  • The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate
  • Consolation to His Wife by Plutarch, Of Books by Michel de Montaigne and others
  • Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary Level F & AP Language-ready vocabulary lists
  • The Bedford Handbook. Hacker, Diana. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s
  • The Elements of Style (Selections) by William Strunk, Jr.
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Various political speeches

Science Department

Department Head: Israa Elhalim

Department Philosophy
The goal of the science program at Pillars Prep Academy is to achieve scientific literacy and acquire science skills through hands on experience. A scientifically literate society is crucial to our increasingly complex and technological world.

Pillars Prep Academy students will be exposed to the rigors of scientific process skills (i.e. making observations, collection of data, formulation of hypotheses, predictions, experimental design, data interpretation, formulation of conclusions and theories) that provide a basic foundation for discovery in nature. All students, in all grades, deserve continuing and meaningful science instruction.

Standards

Read about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the science content standards followed by Pillars Preparatory Academy: www.nextgenscience.org

Standardized Tests Used

NJASK, SAT Subject Tests, AP Exams

Biology

Biology is a comprehensive, two semesters, introductory course that includes laboratory activities parallel to the subject. Curriculum follows Next Generation Science Standards and NJCCCS.

There are five life science topics in this course: 1) Structure and Function, 2) Inheritance and Variation of Traits, 3) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, 4) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and 5) Natural Selection and Evolution.

Honors Biology

Prerequisite: Teacher/Counselor Recommendation
This course is designed for students who are especially interested in biology and have both the ambition and ability to do work at a higher conceptual level. Curriculum follows Next Generation Science Standards and NJCCCS.

There are five life science topics in this course: 1) Structure and Function, 2) Inheritance and Variation of Traits, 3) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, 4) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, and 5) Natural Selection and Evolution.

AP Biology

Prerequisite: Honors Biology, Teacher/Counselor Recommendation
AP Biology is a challenging course that is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course. After taking the AP exam you may be permitted to take upper-level biology courses at your university. Other students may fulfill a basic requirement for a laboratory science course and be able to take other courses to in your major. AP Bio includes topics regularly covered in a college biology course for majors. It differs significantly from the usual first high school course in biology with respect to the kind of textbook used, and the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work, and the time and effort required of students. AP Bio provides students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology. Biology is fascinating, constantly changing, and contains secrets for improving our world.

Chemistry

This course is for students who plan to pursue non-science careers. Its purposes are to help students realize the important role that chemistry will play in their personal and professional lives, use principles of chemistry to think with more insight about current issues they will encounter that involve science and technology, and develop a lifelong awareness of the potential and limitations of science and technology.

Students become conversant with the scientific vernacular, chemical symbols, and notation. The nature of atoms and molecules in predicting the properties and behavior of more complex systems will be considered. States of matter will be categorized. The Periodic Table of the Elements will be studied to illustrate chemical periodicity and bonding. The gas laws will be introduced in order to understand statistical handling of large populations of atoms and molecules. The laws of thermodynamics will be introduced, including the concepts of enthalpy and entropy. Acids and Bases concepts along with their chemical behavior will be discussed and explained.

Honors Chemistry

Prerequisite: Teacher/Counselor Recommendation
This course is designed for those students who are outstanding in science, have strong math skills and would like to take an accelerated chemistry course. The topics covered in this course are the same as Chemistry but are explored in greater depth as preparation for the SAT II exam.

Honors Chemistry course will provide opportunities for students to develop and communicate a deeper understanding of atomic structure, bonding, intermolecular forces, stoichiometry of aqueous solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction and electron chemistry, nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry.

AP Chemistry

Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry, Teacher/Counselor Recommendation
This is a college freshman level course. It is appropriate for outstanding students who are strong in science and math, especially chemistry. The course involves extensive laboratory work, readings, and lectures that prepare the student for the A.P Chemistry exam in May. The A.P. exam serves as a basis for credit and/or exemption for freshman college.

Laboratory experiences allow the student to manipulate compounds, observe change, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions. This course demands that students effectively communicate results through various methods (summarizing data in a specified lab format, written and/or oral presentations, graphs, charts, diagrams, multimedia presentations, etc.) The use of technology (scientific equipment, calculators, computers/CBLs, research, etc.) will be an integral part of this course.

Honors Physics

Prerequisite: Teacher/Counselor Recommendation
This course is aimed at serious science students. It should be considered a required course for students planning a science-related major in college. Students selecting this course should have an outstanding math background and a desire to be challenged.

The course is divided into five major areas: mechanics (motion and the forces that affect it), energy, wave phenomena (light and sound), electricity and magnetism, and modern physics (quantum theory and atomic structure).

Environmental Science

Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry, Teacher/Counselor Recommendation
This course is for students who plan to pursue non-science careers. Environmental science course is designed to immerse students in the physical, biological, and earth systems sciences that shape our environment. Scientific concepts, principles and modern science practices allow students to analyze environmental issues, both natural and human induced, and engage in evidence-based decision making in real world contexts.

Math Department

Department Head: Safia Haddam

Department Philosophy
We believe in creating learning environments where students practice and acquire the knowledge of mathematics. We believe that students should be able to Proficiently apply a range of numerical, algebraic, geometric, and statistical concepts and the skills to formulate, analyze, and solve real world problems. The learning environment will facilitate inquiry, use of technology and the exploration of real world phenomena. It will support continuous development of mathematical Skills and the appreciation of mathematics as a discipline. Our mathematics Program seeks to graduate students who will possess a sense of numbers, data Analysis, spatial relationships, symbolic representations, and the ability to Communicate mathematics with others.

Standards

Pillars Preparatory Academy offers courses, all college preparatory, at all levels.
www.corestandards.org/Math/

Social Studies Department

Department Head: Rhonda Moustafa / Eman Osman

Department Philosophy
Our philosophy in Social Studies is an education that provides students the environment and tools to gain and apply historical knowledge and to hone their skills as indicated below.

Standards

Goals for Students

  • To develop skills for perceptive reading, critical thinking, summarizing, and intelligent
    articulation.
  • To develop the ability to use and conduct research in primary materials.
  • To develop an awareness and appreciation for other cultures.
  • To expose students to a wide variety of historical approaches.
  • To help students deal with the present and future by studying the past patterns and trends of human activity.
  • To analyze the ever-changing, global issues of our world.
  • To become aware of their roles as citizens in society and prepare to participate actively, competently, and productively.

United States History

11th or 12th grade standing
This course examines the major turning points in United States history beginning with the events leading up to the American Revolution, the origins of our constitution, reform movements, Manifest Destiny, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the impact of the frontier, the changing nature of business and government, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the growth of the United States as a world power, the Cold War and the struggle to achieve class, ethnic, racial, and gender equality. The course extends to the modern day. Contemporary world issues such as globalization, economic interdependence, and terrorism. World cultures will also factor into our analysis of international conflict and cooperation.

AP United States History

Prerequisite: “A” average in Social Studies and strong English writing skills. Teacher recommendation

This course is offered to selected students of proven academic ability in the field of Social Studies. This is a college level course in United States History culminating with the Advanced Placement exam. Students achieving a successful grade on this exam may apply for college credit. This course will fulfill the United States History high school requirement.

AP World History

Pre-Requisites: “A” average in Social Studies and strong English writing skills. Teacher recommendation

This course is taught at the college-level and culminates with the AP Exam. Students achieving a successful grade on the AP Exam may apply for college credit. The AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the development of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of factual knowledge and analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. This course will satisfy the high school World History requirement.

AP European History

Prerequisite: “A” average in Social Studies and strong English writing skills. Teacher recommendation

AP European History is a rigorous academic course that furnishes a basic narrative of events and movements in European History from 1450 to the present. It prepares students for the demands of a college education by providing experience in college level reading, writing and responsibility for learning. This course is taught at the college-level and culminates with the AP Exam. Students achieving a successful grade on the AP Exam may apply for college credit.

AP Comparative and United States Government and Politics

AP Comparative Government and Politics (1/2 year)
AP United States Government and Politics (1/2 year)

Pre-Requisites: “A” average in Social Studies and strong English writing skills. Teacher recommendation

This college-level Advanced Placement provides high achieving students with a learning experience equivalent to a college course in United States Government and Politics and a college course in Comparative Government and Politics. The course studies government and politics in the United States as well as examining the world’s diverse political structures and practices. This course culminates in the student taking the AP Exam in United States Government and Politics and/or the AP Exam in Comparative Government and Politics. A separate grade is reported for each test.

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Faculty

Years Established

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Location: 34 Charles Street, South River, NJ 08882

Telephone: (732) 390-4200

Fax: (732) 613-1562

Email: admin@pillarsprep.com

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