ACADEMICS

Curriculum

EXPLORE THE CURRICULUM

Jewish tradition holds that learning is a sacred act. When we learn, we seek to understand our community’s timeless values, as well as our place in this world: who we are, where we come from, and how we want to live. When we study with a whole heart, we aspire to higher and higher levels of consciousness and spirituality. In and outside of classes. We seek to create a learning environment in which student’s creativity of thought and innovative ideas advance our communal pursuit of knowledge and truth.  

ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS

Gann’s curriculum comprises more than 175 courses in nine academic disciplines, and co-curricular arts and athletics programs. For more information about each department’s required course sequence, please click on the buttons below. 

Academic Sequence

Over their four years at Gann, students move through a series of required courses, gaining more elective options each year. Gann’s academic program runs over two semesters. The daily schedule holds 6 blocks—5 academic and 1 module Monday-Thursday. Fridays, the schedule includes 5 academic blocks and Hakhel, our all-school, student-run assembly. 

  • Academic blocks meet 5 times/week (modules meet 2 or 4 times a week). 
  • Students take between 4 and 7 classes each semester. 
  • Over their four-year high school journey, students choose from 10 block electives and 16 module electives (students who take Biology, Chemistry, and History AP-level courses choose from seven electives and 16 module electives). 
  • Some classes are semester-long, while others are year-long and are noted in the sequencing below. 

9th Grade

9th Grade Required Courses

10th Grade

10th Grade Course Requirements

11th Grade

11th Grade Required Courses

12th Grade

12th Grade Required Courses

A Closer Look: English Department

To inquire, contemplate, and engage in discourse. To interpret texts thoughtfully, communicate effectively in writing, listen carefully to the option of others, and advocate convincingly. To immerse in diverse perspectives and express our own ideas with precision and depth. These are among the skills that Gann students cultivate through their ongoing exploration of English throughout their Gann education.

Click on the buttons below to explore Summer reading lists by grade. 

Arts

Gann recognizes the exceptional role that the arts play in culture and community. A Gann arts education promotes self-actualization of the individual artist, cultivation of the creative process, and general arts literacy. At Gann, young artists learn to take creative risks, to problem-solve, and to communicate in new ways. Music, dance, theater, and the visual arts are critical for stimulating creativity and fostering a greater sense of community — helping students deepen their self-expression and become more open to and mindful of others.

Arts Required course sequence

Athletics

Interscholastic Athletics

Gann interscholastic athletics and its coaching staff emphasize competition, dedication, teamwork, and pride in each program. We expect that participation in a competitive team environment will lead to our student-athletes developing life skills such as leadership, goal-setting, humility, and confidence when dealing with adversity.

Interscholastic Athletics

Gann’s recreational class program provides student-athletes with multiple sports options where they are encouraged to select a familiar activity or try something new. Enrollment is open to everyone until capacity is reached. Every instructor welcomes and supports a broad variety of skills levels in each class. All of our Recreational Classes and instructors celebrate physical fitness, movement, relaxation and coordination development. Everyone will be graded on attendance and effort in these classes.

athletics required courses

Computing, Design, & Fabrication

In Gann’s Computing, Design, & Fabrication (CD&F) department, students have the opportunity to explore a range of technical disciplines that focus on creation and problem solving using modern tools. Through these courses, students learn to make everything from adaptive devices and prototyped consumer products to apps and robots. Some classes also let students explore the real-world applications of concepts they are learning in their math and science courses. Though the focus is on building a suite of mindsets and foundational skills, students do not need prior experience to sign up for level I classes. Whether you want to learn skills to pursue a project idea, gain hands-on technical experience, or are just curious about what design and programming are like, there’s something for everyone in CD&F.

Computing, design, and fabrication required course sequence

English

Gann’s English program aims to develop students’ capacities in the areas of interpretation, communication, and empathy. We want our students to grow as critical thinkers; as competent, creative, and confident writers; and as lovers of the beautiful diversity of literature and the world. Our curriculum offers students wide-ranging reading and writing opportunities while also fostering critical skills and habits of mind related to collaboration, metacognition, risk-taking, and resilience. Gann’s full-year Humanities 9 course combines the skills and content of traditional English and History classes, emphasizing the development of close reading skills and teaching students to examine the way a text’s meaning is shaped by the author’s particular use of language. Humanities 9 alsofamiliarizes students with standards and expectations for writing in and beyond high school as students work toward mastery of writing conventions and the development of personal style. Our 10th and 11th grade classes build on this foundation in reading and writing skills, offering leveled classes (English 10 and Advanced English 10, and English 11 and AP English 11 – Literature and Composition) in which students explore major issues in the human and American experience through the study of texts representing a variety of eras, forms, and perspectives. In these courses, students work toward greater sophistication and independence as readers and writers. Gann seniors explore an area of specialty in English by selecting from a range of thematically focused elective courses.

english required course sequence

Hebrew Language & Literature

The Hebrew department aims to develop students’ proficiency in the Hebrew language, both to deepen their connection to Israeli society and to give students direct access to the language of Jewish expression since Biblical times. The Hebrew department is committed to enabling every learner to gain a connection to and love of the Hebrew language.

We offer a dynamic proficiency-based curriculum in Hebrew that addresses content, skills, and habits of mind associated with language acquisition. Students are placed in courses according to their proficiency level. Hebrew modules (which meet during Flex Blocks) are offered for students who want additional Hebrew opportunities. Our upper-level courses are thematically oriented to enrich language acquisition with cultural and historical content. Students with strong Hebrew skills may qualify for our Advanced or Heritage classes.

Hebrew required course sequence

History

The mission of the History department is to prepare students for active and intelligent citizenship, to support their personal development as reflective human beings, and to build historical thinking and communication skills. In the 9th and 10th grades, students investigate global history and Jewish history, exploring and solidifying their own personal values and beliefs within the context of a wide variety of cultural perspectives. In 11th grade, students immerse themselves in the world of historical actors and examine key choice points in United States history – moments when Americans made decisions that affected the trajectory of our country’s systems, policies, and social structures. As they come to understand our country’s history as a series of choices made by real people, students are inspired to exercise their own powers of citizenship. In 12th grade, students choose from a wide variety of history seminars, ranging from a project-based learning Holocaust course to a deep dive into the history of the Supreme Court to an exploration of the Vietnam War that culminates in a student-led oral history project. For students with a particular interest in history and the social sciences, we also offer a wide array of multi-grade electives, which students can choose to take in addition to their core history courses. Throughout their four years of history studies at Gann, students develop their skills of historical thinking, primary and secondary source analysis, persuasive writing, and research, with a strong emphasis on the dispositional practices of evidence-based argument and civil discourse.

History required course sequence

Jewish Education

At the heart of Jewish Studies at Gann is text study inviting students to join Jewish conversations begun over 3000 years ago. Through close reading of both classical and modern Jewish texts, usually studied in pairs or small groups (“hevruta style”), Gann students gain a deeper understanding of Jewish values, practices, and history. This form of study empowers students to take charge of their own learning and make connections to the big ideas and questions they encounter in their own lives.

Math

Gann’s approach to mathematics education puts students in a position to thrive in all areas of math beyond high school. From course to course, we emphasize thinking deeply about skills and concepts, asking students to go beyond memorization and simple application. We ask “why” about math as much—if not more than—“how.” For example, we always take time to ask students, “why did you solve a problem that way?” or “why does that answer not make sense in this situation?” Gann math teachers strive to make students capable of employing mathematical thinking habits from one course to the next, building upon them each year. The core courses of the mathematics curriculum—from Geometry to Calculus—fully prepare students for college level math courses in the future.

Math required course sequence

Science

The journey of science studies at Gann guides students to observe, investigate, and make meaning of the world around them through a scientific lens. Students begin their exploration by solving challenges using an interdisciplinary approach to science, math, and design & fabrication in Intro to STEM. This launching point leads into core foundational studies in introductory physics, chemistry, and biology (both at the conceptual and advanced levels). Along the way, students can create an individualized path and pursue passions through in-depth elective courses in physics (20th Century Physics, Advanced Senior Physics), chemistry (Advanced Organic & Experimental Chemistry, AP Chemistry), Biology (Anatomy & Physiology, Biological Basis of Behavior, Advanced Biotechnology) and the natural sciences (Environmental Science, Natural Disasters).

science required course sequence

World Languages

The World Languages Department offers ASL (American Sign Language), French, and Spanish. French and Spanish are offered from levels 1 through 6, and we offer levels 1 and 2 of ASL. Our content-based curriculum embodies our core value: to create global citizens by making connections with local and global communities and resources. Our mixed-grade classes, from novice to advanced levels, are taught entirely in the target language, and our small class sizes allow ample opportunity for students to communicate in the language and engage with the cultural content in meaningful ways. Students are placed in a World Language level after initial placement evaluation.

world languages required course sequence