Course Descriptions & Prerequisites

Applied Arts & Technology

Exploring Computer Science (1 Credit)

This course engages students in computational thinking and practice, while developing creativity, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.  Students will utilize a variety of software and web-based programs.  This course provides opportunities to explore, but is not limited to:  Microsoft Office, Google Docs, PhotoShop, multimedia production, 3D modeling and printing, cyber security, keyboarding, digital citizenship, and coding.


Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles (1 Credit)

This course is designed to be equivalent to a first-semester introductory college computing course.  In this course, students will develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines.  The course engages students in the creative aspects of the field by allowing them to develop computational artifacts based on their interests.  Students will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills by working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and will discuss and write about the impacts these solutions could have on their community, society, and the world.

Prerequisite: Algebra I.


College Prep/Life Skills (1 Credit)

This course helps students prepare to take the SAT and ACT standardized tests. Students are given test taking strategies for all sections of the SAT and ACT tests. For college preparation, students are introduced to the application process, financial aid information, scholarships and essay writing. Students are given information about various careers and given ideas about future goals and how to begin to attain life goals.


English & Literacy


English 1 (1 credit) 

English 1 is a study of the writing process, polishing writing skills and refining the basic skills of critical thinking, oral presentation, spelling and grammar. In addition, students study a wide variety of literature through different genres such as the short story, poetry, drama and novels. Written and oral assignments relate directly to reading assignments and class discussions. This course also introduces students to the process of writing and serves as the foundation for other courses in the English program.


Honors English 1 (1 credit) 

Honors I is an accelerated curriculum that expands students’ reading and writing experiences, building a foundation for their high school and post secondary academic careers. The course will allow students to improve their reading, writing, and communication skills through various effective strategies found in the common instructional framework including classroom talk, collaborative group work, writing to learn, literacy groups, questioning, and scaffolding. Students will encounter various genres of literature and several styles of writing, with a particular common core emphasis placed on evidence based writing.


English 2 (1 credit) 

English 2 examines the literature of the ancient world through the 20th century and emphasizes critical thinking and in-depth writing skills. An integral part of the course is a literature-related composition program that emphasizes development of specific writing, reading, critical thinking and speaking skills with a review of Standard English usage and vocabulary.

Prerequisite: English 1.

Honors English 2 (1 credit) 

English II Honors is an accelerated curriculum that challenges students to explore and cultivate an understanding of various genres of Literature. While reading numerous novels, plays, and poetry, students learn to analyze, synthesize and evaluate a range of literary themes and concepts. Students aim to improve their reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar skills by exploring and applying specific common instructional framework strategies. Additional activities will require students to research, and create oral presentations either individually or as a member of a group and collaboratively create multiple novel-based projects.


English 3 (1 credit) 

English 3 covers the ancient literature of Africa and the Americas, as well as modern world literature. Literature-related essay writing is emphasized. Research paper writing skills are studied in preparation for English 4.

Prerequisite: English 2.


English 4 (1 credit) 

English 4 examines European literature from the Anglo-Saxon period, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Romantic Period and the Victorian Age, and continues through the 20th century. The class also familiarizes students with writing research papers. Tools and methods of objective research are explored. Students learn the logical development and substantiation of a thesis. They discuss the problems of selecting, evaluating and interpreting facts. Critical thinking and writing skills are emphasized.

Prerequisite: English 3.


Advanced Placement (AP) English Language (1 credit) 

AP English Language challenges the student’s intellectual abilities and seeks to improve their overall effective use of verbal and written language. This course focuses on reading a wide range of print and visual texts through the lens of understanding and creating argument and looking at authorial purpose. Texts selected for study include a wide variety of cultural perspectives and an emphasis on representation from a range of literary periods. The primary emphasis will be on non‐fiction writing.

Prerequisites: English 2 or 3 and approval by Administration.


Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition (1 credit) 

AP English Literature and Composition aligns to an introductory college-level literary analysis course. The course engages students in the close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works.


Fine Arts

Many of the fine arts programs are performance based and require the commitment of the student to a year-long program. These groups give numerous programs during and outside of official school time. Members are required to meet all these appointments. Absences from scheduled programs may lower the student’s grade or may be a cause for dismissal from the organization. Members of choral groups must purchase uniforms. Each class in this section will fulfill a Fine Arts requirement.


Performing Arts Courses


Camerata (1 credit)

This course combines Camerata, a select choir, and Music Theory to provide an advanced experience in vocal, musical, and performance techniques.  Upon completion of the course, students will have been exposed to a variety of aspects of music including theory, style, and history.  The performance schedule is the most varied of any of the performing organizations.

Prerequisite: students must audition for director of Camerata


Chorale (1 credit)

Choir is open to anyone who is interested in singing. Various techniques of voice projection, breath control, sight-reading, stylistic interpretation and performance will be explored. The choir will participate in major school performances, local church performances and a short tour. Full participation is expected of all members.


Flex Band (1 credit)

Flex band is open to those students who have had lessons in brass, woodwind or percussion instruments, or who have advanced music and rhythm skills. Techniques such as rhythm, phrasing, performance skills and musical interpretation will be emphasized. The band will perform at most major school events.

Prerequisite: 2-3 years of band, orchestra, or strings instruction.


Music Technology (1 credit)

This class is for students who are interested in learning how technology affects music. Various music writing programs will be discussed, and one program will be taught in details. The Music Technology class will include music analysis, composition and practical application.


Drama (1 credit)

Students will be introduced to the basic elements of acting. Students will experience the process of theater production through stage management, costume, acting, and storytelling.


Visual Arts Courses


Mixed Media (1 credit)

Objective: Students will be introduced to multiple artistic mediums such as embroidery, carving (stamp work), sculpting, etc. Students will create a complete portfolio based on instructional assignments throughout the course.

Outcome: Students will demonstrate basic processes, and be able to identify how texture, patterns, rhythm, balance create aesthetics and cohesion.


Fashion 1 (1 credit)

Students will be introduced to basic fashion illustration techniques. Students will produce regular sketch works to improve upon personal time and develop consistency through the fashion figure. By the end of the school year, students will have the knowledge of how to produce a full cohesive collection by using technique, color, fabric and style.


Fashion 2 (1 credit)

The Fashion Design course is concentrated on the development of beginner level students’ ability to read and navigate through basic patterns. Students will be required to create garments using basic patterns. Once a base of basic pattern knowledge has been acquired, students will have the ability to modify pre-existing patterns.

Prerequisite: Fashion 1.


Foreign Languages

Spanish 1 (1 credit)

Spanish 1 develops the beginning student’s language skills such as listening, speaking, reading and writing. Elementary grammar and awareness of Hispanic culture are also stressed.


Spanish 2 (1 credit)

Spanish 2 reviews language structures introduced in Spanish 1 systematically and presents the remaining basic grammar for study and practice. Learning new vocabulary and oral practice bring the student to a higher level of proficiency. Prerequisite: Spanish 1 or permission of the instructor.

Prerequisite: Spanish 1.


Spanish 3 (1 credit)

Students continue to develop their communicative competence by interacting orally and in writing with other Spanish speakers, understand oral and written messages in Spanish and making oral and written presentations in Spanish.

Prerequisite: Spanish 2.


Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish (1 credit)

AP Spanish is an independent study course for students proficient in Spanish in preparation for the AP Spanish Language examination. Prerequisite: Permission and recommendation of the instructor. College credit is available for students receiving high scores on the national examination. Eligible students must pay the required fee for the textbook.

Prerequisite: Spanish 3.


Foreign Language Class Abroad (1 credit)

Students enrolled at Takoma Academy may enroll in summer school language programs for Takoma Academy credit as sponsored by Adventist Colleges Abroad. Locations include France, Spain and South America.

Prerequisite: A minimum of one credit in the foreign language to be studied abroad.



Algebra 1 (1 credit)

Algebra 1 is the basic course for all college preparatory mathematics courses. Students will study analysis, probability, the real number system, linear and quadratic functions, operations with polynomials and matrices and applications of these concepts. Students will be expected to describe and translate among graphic algebraic, numeric, tabular and verbal representations of relations and use those representations to solve problems. This course will count towards the math course requirements of all diplomas.


Algebra 2 (1 credit)

This course extends the study of topics introduced in Algebra 1. The emphasis on linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial and rational functions are motivated by data investigations. A TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator is required and is an integral part of this course, which will count towards the math course requirements of all diplomas. Algebra 1 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of Geometry is recommended before enrollment in this course.

Prerequisite: Geometry.


Advanced Concepts in Algebra Pre-Calculus Concepts (1 credit)

Takoma Academy endeavors all students to achieve an acceptable level of mastery in mathematics as identified by the College Board as necessary for college success. They include numbers and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and measurements, data, probability and statistics, problem solving, representations, reasoning, connections, and communication. This class will include selected topics in Pre-Calculus mathematics for the 2nd part of the school year. This class will serve the purpose of preparing graduates to successfully challenge the SAT and ACT at year’s end as well as move graduates into some topic from higher-level mathematics.

Pre-requisite: Algebra 2.


Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus (1 credit)

This course covers all topics associated with functions, graphs, (including mathematical modeling), and limits; derivatives and integrals (and the relationship between them as defined by the Fundamental Theorem of the Calculus) as detailed in the Calculus AB topic outline in the AP Calculus Course Description. Functions are studied graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally while connections between these representations are explored. Mathematical ideas are communicated and solutions to problems are explained both verbally and in written sentences. Students are taught how to use graphing calculators to graph functions within arbitrary windows, to help solve problems, conduct explorations, interpret results, and verify conclusions. Students determine the reasonableness of solutions, including sign, size, relative accuracy, and units of measurement. Students also model physical situations with a function, an integral, or as a differential equation. Graphing calculators are an integral part of this course.

Prerequisites: Pre-Calculus.


Geometry (1 credit)

This course is designed to emphasize the study of the properties and applications of common geometric figures in two and three dimensions.  It includes the study of right triangle trigonometry.  Inductive and deductive thinking skills are used in problem solving situations, and applications to the real world are stressed.  It also emphasizes writing proofs to solve (prove) properties of geometric figures.  Students who complete Geometry should take Algebra 2 next.


Pre-Calculus (1 credit)

This course covers transformations and functions: linear, quadratic and polynomial functions, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions (and applications), inverse functions, and sequences and series.

Prerequisites: Algebra 2 grade of “B”.


Physical Education and Health

All students are required to earn 1½ credits of Physical Education (PE) and ½ credit of Health in order to graduate from Takoma Academy. Only a valid medical waiver may exempt a student from the PE requirement. Waiver of the PE requirement does not reduce the total number of units necessary to meet diploma requirements.


Physical Education & Health (1 credit)

PE 1 will train and test students in proper methods of warm-up, rules and drills, as well as health-related physical fitness. Participation in sports such as flag ball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball, weight training and aerobics is expected. 


Physical Education 2 (1 credit)

PE 2 expands students’ knowledge and skills in team sports and lifetime fitness (e.g., aerobic fitness, weight training and conditioning).


Strength & Conditioning (1 credit)

This course explores muscular health and cardiovascular health. Students learn how to properly use weight room equipment, the muscles involved with each exercise and tracking their improvement.  Students also put their cardiovascular health to the test, learning to breathe while running moderate distances, tracking their improvement while using a run app to see how their time compares with their last run. 


Health (.5 credit)

Health furthers students’ understanding of a person’s physical, mental, emotional and consumer health. The course includes a unit on reproduction, heredity, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS.

Prerequisite: Physical Education 2 (Juniors/Seniors may request as an independent course option).


Varsity Level Athletics Participation (.5 credit)



Students are required to take a Bible class during each year of attendance at a Seventh-day Adventist secondary school.


Bible 1: “God’s Initiative” (1 credit)

Bible 1 surveys the book of Genesis, emphasizing the fundamental Christian belief of God’s personal work with the human family. In addition, the course surveys the four Gospels with emphasis on the events leading up to the death of Christ.


Bible 2: “God’s People” (1 credit)

First Semester:  God has pursued His chosen people throughout history, yet repeatedly they have chosen the world above Him.  We will explore Old Testament stories of Hosea, David and Ruth to show how individuals have lived their lives after God’s heart.  Next we look specifically at Jesus while on this earth to learn eternal truths that will encourage, inspire and draw us closer to His heart.

Second Semester:  We discover the birth of the early Christian church that brought challenges and wonder as the Holy Spirit was poured onto people committed to living after God’s own heart.  Jesus’ followers were empowered with His message and shared it passionately, despite the consequences. We too can lead by serving others.  Finally, we conclude with what it means to live after God’s own heart.  Our relationship with God will determine things such as:  our prayer life, Bible study, how we view God’s law, and how we make discerning lifestyle choices.  God calls us to live for Him in every aspect of our lives.


Bible 3: “God’s Truth and Lifestyle” (1 credit)

Bible 3 covers The Sanctuary, Romans, Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs, and Daniel and Revelation.


Bible 4: “God’s Lifestyle” (1 credit)

Required semester classes of seniors are Gospel of John, Marriage and Family, Philosophy of Life, Moral Issues, Contemporary Religions, World Views.



Anatomy and Physiology (1 credit)

This course is designed to introduce students to the structure and function of the human body. The concept of homeostasis (maintenance of a stable internal environment) is introduced early and then emphasized throughout the class. Also stressed is the understanding that loss of homeostasis leads to some kind of pathology or disease, either temporary or permanent. Thus pathological conditions are introduced and integrated as appropriate to clarify normal functioning. Chemistry, cells, tissues and the first organ system (skin) are treated in succession, making the transition to organ systems more easily accomplished. These systems require a great deal of anatomical terminology, and they are approached from simple to increasingly complex levels.

Prerequisite: Biology.


Advanced Placement (AP) Biology (1 credit)

The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory Biology course usually taken by Biology majors during their first year. After showing themselves qualified on the AP Exam, some students, in their first year of college, are permitted to take upper-level courses in Biology or register for courses for which Biology is a prerequisite.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry.


Biology (Lab) (1 credit)

Biology 1 is a study of zoological and botanical organisms, their classification, structure, function and interrelationships. A belief in intelligent design is emphasized. Activities are organized to enable students to recognize the importance of basic scientific research and the application of scientific concepts to people’s lives. Critical thinking skills are developed, and the course goes beyond the presentation of facts to interpret and assess their significance.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science or permission from department based upon test scores.


Chemistry (Lab) (1 credit)

Chemistry includes a study of elementary inorganic chemistry. Topics include the Bohr-Rutherford atom, the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements, chemical bonding and valence electrons, types of chemical equations and the Law of Conservation of matter, stoichiometry, gas laws, dynamic equilibrium and Le Chatelier’s principle, and solubility of gases and liquids. While the course is open to students interested in any profession, it is especially designed to prepare the science student for college courses.
Pre-requisites: A basic course in Biology and concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2.


Fundamentals of Engineering

Fundamentals of Engineering will be a survey of major engineering disciplines: aerospace and aeronautical; computer engineering and computer science; electrical; mechanical and structural; robotics; and/or systems engineering. The course is divided into two days of lecture and two days of demonstrations, project work, and hands-on activities. The course work may also include teaching in additive manufacturing or 3D printing.  Teams of students complete race engineering and robotics activities. STEM skills include coding/programming, design, and hands-on assembly.


Physics (Lab) (1 credit)

Physics studies the fundamental laws related to mechanics, Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation, heat and temperature, light and sound, AND electricity, and magnetism. It meets the needs of students who may be required to take an introductory course in college physics.

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra 2 AND concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus.


Social Studies

American Government (1 credit)

American Government is a study of the principles, organizations and functions of national, state and local government. Students examine the Constitution, public policy, institutions of government and election law. Particular emphasis is placed on current events. Prerequisites: World History and American History. This course is required for graduation and should be taken in the senior year.


Advanced Placement (AP) American Government (1 credit)

AP Government is a study of the institutions and political activities of the American government at the national, state and local levels. Decision-making will be examined in foreign affairs, economics and logical issues with an emphasis on contemporary problems. The United States Constitution will also be studied. Students will prepare for the national Advanced Placement exam and may be eligible to receive college credit for high scores. Eligible students must meet all Honors prerequisites.

Prerequisites: US History.


Advanced Placement (AP) Human Geography (1 Credit)

AP Human Geography is a rigorous course that introduces students to the systematic study of the interaction between humans and their physical environment and prepares them for the AP Human Geography exam in May. The course seeks to use the tools of geography to understand social organization such as migration, culture, population, land use, and various demographics.

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.


Advanced Placement (AP) US History (1 Credit)

AP US History is a rigorous survey course covering American history from the Pre-Columbian period to the present.  The class is taught in accordance with the AP US. History curriculum framework and is designed to prepare students for the AP US history exam in May.

Prerequisite: World History.


US History (1 Credit)

US History surveys United States history from the age of the explorations up until the present day.  Topics covered include political, military, economic, religious, social, and cultural development.  Particular emphasis is placed on the role of individuals in the founding and development of the United States.

Prerequisite: World History.


World History (1 credit)

World History surveys ancient and medieval history through World War II with particular emphasis on the Western world. Topics covered include political, military, economic, religious, social and cultural development. Emphasis is placed on geography and current events. This class is required for graduation and should be taken in the freshman or sophomore year.