Philosophy

The curriculum in all academic courses is rigorous, and designed to prepare students for four-year colleges. Classes are heterogeneously grouped and the academic expectations are the same for all students. Students have the option of taking any course as an honors course by meeting additional requirements that include additional work and/or taking additional exams or writing additional papers.

ACC teachers use a variety of instructional approaches that enable students to be independent thinkers and cooperative learners. Strategies include a constructivist approach to learning and a focus on seminar-style discussions that enable analysis and analytical writing. In the constructivist approach, students create and shape their own understanding of the work at hand, while being challenged by their teachers and fellow students for sound argument, depth of analysis, and thoughtful evaluation.

Through a variety of instructional methods and assessments, students make meaningful connections between their personal experience, background knowledge, nightly reading, and class work. Teachers design curriculum that aim for a balance of breadth and depth in subject matter. The teaching staff works to enrich students with an expanse of cultural literacy, and gives them the power to focus their research, analytical and evaluative skills for depth of understanding.

To further engage students, teacher created curriculum is encouraged and valued. An engaged teacher leads to engaged students. Giving teachers the freedom to craft their own curriculum, guided by the high expectations of the school’s college preparatory mission, helps to create energy in the classroom, job satisfaction among teachers, and achievement in our students.

Departments

Art
Art is a graduation requirement at ACC. Arts at ACC is woven through the academic curriculum. In 9th grade all students take Art Exposure. This course builds on students prior exposure to art. Students have an interdisciplinary curriculum which is closely woven into both ELA and Math. Students study an artist and craft interdisciplinary projects based on the coursework in ELA and Math. 10th and 11th grade students take a course call Open Studios. This course is for students who have taken an interest in art and want to independently develop their skills in a variety of media. Volunteer artists from the community (professors, independent artists, community artists) come in and share their art and style with students. Projects are tied to both ELA and Math. AP Art is offered to a class of seniors who are looking to create a portfolio for college entry.

Visual Arts and Advanced 2D Art, Be Kind Hilary Crane-Stern 

Theater Arts Kadahj Bennett


English Language Arts (ELA)
While all students will be required to meet the 4-year English requirement, students will be carefully taught how to go beyond writing reports and learn how to write college-level analytical papers as well as read and analyze a variety of genres. An analytical writing class is required for grades 10-12 to help students transition to the intensive writing requirements at ACC. We have additionally partnered with the University of Massachusetts Boston to create a Writing Center at ACC, where all students and classes may access additional writing support and tutoring.

AP and College English 12 and Writing 12, Know Thyself Curriculum Robert Comeau

English 11 and Writing 11 Seamus Foy

English 10 and Writing 10 Kate Gubata

English 9 and Writing 9, Be Kind SEL Curriculum Marina Eve

ESL Teacher and LATF Kathleen Linso

Literacy and English Language Arts Kaila Philippe


History
The humanities focus at ACC will allow students to gain a well-rounded understanding of history and to also sharpen their skills as writers. Students will learn how to write research based analytical papers in all history courses. ACC requires four years of history for all students. ACC offers US History I and US History II at the 9th and 10th grade level respectively,and World History in the 11th grade. Seniors select two electives from a variety of topics: Law and Justice, Social Justice, and Facing History and Ourselves.

World History - Grade 11, AP Human Geography - Grade 12 Melissa Mongogna

U.S. History 2 - Grade 10, Social Issues - Grade 12 Cecil Carey

U.S. History 1 - Grade 9, BUILD Entrepreneurship - Grade 9 Christopher Mee

AP U.S. Government and Politics - Grade 12 Michele Pellam


Mathematics
ACC offer a variety of college prep math courses including Algebra I, Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Precalculus, and Calculus. The goal of the mathematics program is to prepare as many students as possible for Calculus. In order to move students from Advanced Algebra in their junior year to Calculus in their senior year, ACC collaborates with Northeastern University for a summer precalculus program.

Algebra 2, Senior Math Seminar, Calculus Minai Kam

Geometry, Precalculus Courtney Gough

Integrated Math 1, Senior Math Seminar Danielle Murray


Physical Education
At ACC our students take part in Physical Education programming that is centered around teamwork, communication, trust and student voice. Students begin the year with team building activities before hopping into a rotation of sports (from Soccer to Omnikin Ball) and they end the year by selecting the sports they want to play. Daily activities are determined by students which incorporates student led learning, an important tenet at ACC. Finally, all students take the Fitnessgram twice during the year.

Physical Education Demitri Curry


Science
ACC offers a variety of college prep science courses including Active Physics, Biology, Behavioral Science, Chemistry, and Advanced Physics. We additionally offer an Advanced Placement science course in Psychology. The scientific method will be introduced in the 9th grade curriculum. In addition to learning the content of the different sciences, students practice scientific inquiry, independent research, and problem-solving skills necessary for success in college and technical career fields, as well as for being scientifically literate citizens.

Biology and Psychology, Behavioral Science, AP Psychology Johanna Waldman

Chemistry, AP Environmental Chemistry Emily Calnan

Physics and Engineering, Robotics Club, Physics 1 and Advanced/AP Physics Dewitt Tolbert


Modern Foreign Languages
ACC offers Spanish I & II to our sophomores and juniors with adjusted instruction for native Spanish speakers. Students learn how to communicate correctly and fluently in Spanish while improving their first language skills. They become more aware of the world around them and learn to understand, respect, and appreciate other cultures, both our international counterparts and our next-door neighbors. Authentic materials are used in order to gain more exposure to the language in its most natural form and setting.

Spanish 1 and Spanish 2, AP Spanish Mayra Figueroa


Technology
ACC will integrate teaching technology throughout the curriculum with the primary focus in the analytical writing classes. Students will be expected to learn many applications of technology and to demonstrate their knowledge through various course assignments. Upon graduation, ACC students will have a thorough knowledge of word-processing, database applications, Internet research, and using technology as a tool for presenting information and reports.

Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is designed to introduce students to the breadth of the field of computer science through an exploration of engaging and accessible topics. Rather than focusing the entire course on learning particular software tools or programming languages, the course is designed to focus on the conceptual ideas of computing and help students understand why certain tools or languages might be utilized to solve particular problems. The goal of Exploring Computer Science is to develop in students the computational practices of algorithm development, problem solving and programming within the context of problems that are relevant to the lives of today’s students. Students will also be introduced to topics such as interface design, limits of computers, and societal and ethical issues.

Makerspace Lab Bob Comeau

Technology Literacy Patrick Coren