Boulder Creek Academy offers various courses for your child. The curriculum provides each child with an opportunity to become more aware and better understand his or her individual learning strengths. Below are courses that we offer:

English Curriculum

In all English classes, students continually explore the writing process, practicing basic writing skills and drafting. All students are assessed with entry and exit essays to evaluate their progress. Students learn essay writing and research skills, emphasizing the use of available technological and library resources. Each student will read at least one classic novel per term, use margin notes to demonstrate critical reading skills, and increase listening and note-taking skills by participating in multimedia presentations. Students increase organizational skills by tracking, analyzing and expressing the thematic and stylistic similarities in art, music, and literature of the periods and cultures represented.

In literature classes, students respond to diverse genres using a variety of styles, including literary analysis, Socratic seminar, and essay writing. All students learn to identify universal themes, motifs, and literary devices. They study the elements of fiction, mastering the elements of plot, analyzing several authors’ styles and examining the impact of the authors’ lives on their writing. Within each class, students engage in a variety of activities that encourage pattern recognition, perspective shifting, and empathic responses to characters in narrative. All students learn formal and technical writing skills in preparation for future academic/vocational pursuits, experiencing a literature-based curriculum that increases reading comprehension, writing, presenting, listening, viewing, and organizational skills.

Foundations of English
This course provides newly entering students an opportunity to “fill the gaps” by reviewing basic reading and writing skills before moving forward with their English and literature courses. This student-centered curriculum introduces students to the learning process at Boulder Creek, laying the foundation for the group dynamics, social skills, Socratic Method, critical reading, basic writing, and study skills necessary for moving forward in the academic coursework. Students facing significant academic and behavioral challenges may benefit from taking this course prior to entering the other English classes.

English 9/10
This class provides basic skills in organization, reading comprehension, analysis, and writing. Students are assessed with entry and exit essays in addition to daily writing assignments, research papers and class participation. Students enhance their organizational skills by creating notebooks, divided into sections for vocabulary, class notes, reading, and writing. They also explore the writing process from free writing to final draft, a process that includes various techniques for note taking, brainstorming, outlining, editing, and drafting. Students engage in Socratic seminar and write in response to both in-class reading assignments and independent reading. They demonstrate the ability to write persuasive, narrative and expository essays. The five-paragraph essay structure serves as a model for speech writing, letter writing, and elements of plot. They practice formal and informal letter writing, the development of a thesis statement, and the organization of a five-paragraph essay and MLA-formatted research paper.

Students explore various genres of literature and develop skills in the use of expressive language. They master elements of plot, while exploring characterization, symbolism, mood, and theme. They study the elements of poetry and the use of figurative language techniques. Each student reads at least one classic novel and uses margin notes to increase reading comprehension and literary analysis.

Students incorporate the use of technology in a variety of daily assignments, using the Internet and word processing programs. They practice a variety of pre-writing and note-taking strategies, including use of graphic organizers, color coding, and visual organization techniques. Each student must make one formal presentation and teach one lesson to the class, keeping a notebook that includes a daily calendar, class notes, handouts, and assignments.

American Literature A

This course is an examination of American literature from its original oral traditions until 1915. The literature is considered through historical and social backgrounds, exploring the relevance of themes in past and present American culture. In addition to early oral traditions, the course explores the following periods of American literature:

  • Colonial
  • Revolutionary and Early National
  • Civil War
  • Romantic
  • Realistic

American Literature B
This class examines American literature from the Modern and Contemporary Eras. Students explore the writers of the Modern Era, emphasizing the expatriates, modernists, humorists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Students also experience contemporary writers and the influence they have on today’s society. All of the literature is examined in conjunction with historical and social background, exploring the relevance of its themes in past and present American culture. The class uses a literature-based curriculum to expand reading comprehension, research, speech, listening, viewing and organizational skills.

British Literature Composition
Students in this class practice their composition skills by responding to British Literature from the Middle Ages to the Victorian Age. Students will study famous works by authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Darwin, Carroll, and Dickens. The reading list for the class may change (depending on the interests and experiences of students in the class), but the overall objective remains the same: to consider the universal themes of this literature as they apply to past and present Western culture.

Students respond to diverse genres using a variety of styles, including literary analysis, class discussion, presentation, performance, and essay writing. They expand their knowledge of formal writing while examining elements of fiction, responding to literary themes, and analyzing the styles of British authors. Students also develop essay writing, technical writing, and research skills, emphasizing the use of available technological and library resources.

World Literature A
This course is an examination of the writing of the great minds that have shaped our literary past and present, both in Eastern and Western traditions. Students study ancient, Classical, medieval and Renaissance literature from around the world, focusing on masterpieces of the oral and written traditions that have influenced the evolution of world cultures.

Students explore literature in a variety of genres, focusing primarily on fiction, poetry, philosophy and drama. Often included are the works of Plato, Homer, Sappho, Sophocles, Confucius, Lao Tze, Chuang Tze, Dante Aleghieri, Shakespeare and Cervantes. The reading list for this course often changes, depending on the interest of the class, but the principles reflect the core curriculum. The class examines universal themes in world literature and the influence of cultural, political and religious environments on the values presented in literature. This class uses a literature-based curriculum to expand reading comprehension, speaking, writing, listening, viewing, and organizational skills.

World Literature B
Commonly called “Senior Thesis” by the students, this course explores research writing in conjunction with classic world literature. Each student is assigned their own unique reading curriculum, based on ability, therapeutic program (as informed by clinician), and/or interest. The curriculum for the course is designed to encourage students to exceed all previous academic challenges in preparation for future educational pursuits and life experiences. This goal is enhanced by the completion of college applications, academic resumes and college admissions essays. Students who do not wish to pursue post-secondary education focus on vocational pursuits, job resumes, job applications, and vocational education opportunities.

Mathematics Curriculum

Boulder Creek Academy’s approach to Math instruction must take into consideration the unique needs of our student population. As such, some students benefit from personalized instruction within a class of learners who generally move along at the same pace, while others benefit from a prescriptive curriculum designed to fill the gaps in his or her skill sets. Personalized instruction offers students the flexibility of differentiated lessons, relevant to student activities and interests. Students in these classes often benefit from cooperative group activities, a variety of visual organizers/problem solving strategies, and visually stimulating memory systems. Key Math provides students the opportunity to work at their own pace, ensuring mastery of each subject area before moving on to the next level of instruction. These courses are supported by an instructor who can provide one-on-one assistance for the students.

Math Skills
For students who have special learning needs, distinct learning styles, or who have missed out on essential skills in mathematics, we offer individualized coursework, tutorials, and learning resource support for acquiring basic skills in math. We offer Key Math to students entering our program, as it provides the prescriptive curriculum necessary to meet each student’s individual needs.

Algebra I
Algebra I is a two-semester course designed to develop the skills of problem solving and symbolic manipulation. Students learn a variety of topics ranging from solving simple equations, graphing linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, writing linear equations, use of exponents, multiplying and factoring polynomials, simplifying basic rational expressions, and connections to Geometry. The curriculum used for this course follows national math standards.

In this course, information is related to real life applications. Many of these concepts are integrated with other disciplines to help students see and make connections. The class is student-centered, as students are encouraged to communicate ideas and concepts to others while working together in small group discussions and activities. The class is designed to enrich students’ math skills and to encourage them to pursue higher learning in the math field.

Algebra II
Algebra II is a two-semester course that covers advanced algebraic concepts. The quadratic function is covered in-depth, using skills learned in Algebra I. Students continue to work with the properties of powers, roots, and radicals, as used in rational expressions.

Students learn to add, subtract, and multiply matrices, as well as learning to solve linear systems using matrices. Students develop problem-solving skills by understanding the graphing of multiple degree polynomials. Students also mathematically manipulate functions on a graphing calculator. Students will be introduced to basic analytical geometry, which include parabolas, circles, and ellipses.

A two-semester course in which students analyze characteristics and properties of two and three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships. The first quarter includes points, lines, planes, angles triangles and polygons. The second quarter includes right triangles and trigonometry, ratio and proportions, circles, areas and perimeters and surface areas and volumes.

Advanced Mathematics Courses
Trigonometry/Pre-calculus, Calculus and Practical Math are also offered on an “as needed” basis.

Sciences Curriculum

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is a one-term science course. This course offers an overview of the various factors that have an impact on our environment. Topics covered include an overview of science and the scientific method, the various environmental systems on Earth, population impacts, environmental health concerns, and the management of Earth’s resources. Students learn information and concepts through lectures, discussions, labs, experiments and multimedia presentations. When feasible, students will also be exposed to real-life examples of environmental science in action. This is done through field trips to places or companies that can show the practical applications of learned concepts.


Biology is a two-term lab science, which is consistent with an introductory high school biology course. The first term covers the principles governing all living organisms, including cell biology and microbiology. The second term focuses primarily on genetics. Students learn biological information and concepts through lectures, discussions, labs, experiments and multimedia presentations. When feasible, students will also be exposed to real-life examples of biology in action. This is done through field trips to places or companies that can show the practical applications of learned concepts. Prerequisites: Completion of Biology A before taking Biology B.

Chemistry is a two-term lab science. The first term explores the basic foundations of science, the physical world, and the development of the modern view of the atom. In the second term, students will explore the development of the periodic table, the varying properties of elements, types of bonds, chemical reactions, the mole, and stoichiometry. Students learn information and concepts through lectures, discussions, labs, experiments and multimedia presentations. When feasible, students will also be exposed to real-life examples of chemistry in action. This is done through field trips to places or companies that can show the practical applications of learned concepts. Prerequisites: Algebra I and Algebra II, Completion of Chemistry A before taking Chemistry B.

Integrated Science

This course combines a variety of high school sciences to create a curriculum that includes General Science, Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics, Geology and Earth Science. The first unit examines the ancient roots of science, Greek science, and the nature of science. The next examines the foundations of chemistry, progressing from properties, theories, and changes of matter, to subatomic particles, the nuclear atom, and the Periodic Table. The astronomy unit examines patterns in the night sky, the local sky, the reason for the seasons, the moon, and ancient planetary mysteries. In the physics unit, students explore matter, energy, and motion, including the force of gravity on motion and the role of physics laws in regard to tides. The geology unit includes a study of minerals and rocks, including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. The course concludes with earth science, when students examine weathering, soil, erosion, mass movements, and wind.

Physical/Earth Science A
The primary focus of this course is on the geology and physical structures of the Earth. Students discover how to identify common rock-forming minerals and common rocks such as granite, sandstone and shale. They investigate major physical/geological landforms, as well as landforms shaped by erosion and glaciation. Students are introduced to the basic theories of planetary formation, as well as the theories of plate tectonics. They discover where and why earthquakes occur and the causative factors leading to the eruption of volcanoes. Students also see how the geological past helped shape the planet, as well as the history and motivation of the geo-scientists that formulated the theories we use today. The prerequisites for this course are Algebra IA and IB.

Physical/Earth Science B
Physical/Earth Science B focuses on the geological and environmental past of the Earth and how these relate to our modern Earth. The course encompasses paleogeology, paleontology, and paleoclimate sciences along with basic environmental science. We look at theories of planetary evolution and solar system development. Students actively participate in discussion groups on these theories, creating presentations on the differing views. Comparisons between global paleoclimates and modern climates are explored. Theories on ice age, global warming and magnetic field reversals are also explored in detail. The prerequisite for this course is Earth Science A.

Biology is a two-semester lab science, which integrates the latest research findings in biology with the time-tested procedures and information consistent with an introductory high school biology course. The first semester covers the principles governing all living organisms, including cell biology, microbiology and genetics, while the second semester covers zoology, evolution, ecology and human biology. Students learn biological information and concepts through lectures, discussions, labs, experiments and multimedia presentations. Students use computer technology in both learning and in the presentation of biological information. Research papers and multimedia presentations, as well as experiential individual and group projects are key evaluation tools.

Chemistry A & B

These classes explore the physical world of modern chemistry. Students examine the periodic table, developing tools to classify and combine chemicals. Stoichiometry is used to investigate the states of matter, chemical reactions, and chemical configurations with the use of a virtual laboratory on the computer. The class looks at how atoms bind to molecules and how molecules combine to solve modern day problems. Prerequisites: Algebra I and Algebra II, Biology.

Social Studies Curriculum

US History A

This course is a survey of United States history from the migration over the Bering Land Bridge to the reconstruction period after the Civil War. Eras of focus include Native American history, European contact and migration, colonial settlement, American Revolution, the Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe years, the age of Jackson, the American Civil War, and reconstruction. Focal points are people, science, culture, politics, technology and international relationships. Students complete a variety of works including, but not limited to, term papers, diagrams, letter writing, art projects, experiences, presentations and quizzes covering notes, videos and readings.

US History B
This class is a study of the 20th century with eras of focus including: the Progressive Era, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the 50’s, the Cold War, the 60’s, the Vietnam War, and recent history. Focal points are people, science, culture, politics, technology and international relationships. Students experience a variety of methods, including note taking, visual images, role-playing, group projects, problem solving, discussion, and writing. Term papers are assigned and students are expected to use the MLA format in preparing projects.

Government A & B
American Government provides students with an understanding of the cultural and social development of the United States. Students will learn the principles and origins of American Government before moving onto an in-depth study of the United States Constitution. Other areas of focus are the elements of American Democracy, political parties, the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of government and American public policy.

Students will complete both sections of Government with culminating, collaborative projects that promote responsible citizenry in school, local, and state government.

Government A & B courses provide students with an understanding of the United States Government as a process, rather than accumulating discrete and unrelated facts to be memorized. To help achieve this goal, the course is divided into six separate themes, allowing the student to connect the political knowledge to major societal issues and become politically literate citizens.

These themes include the following:

  • Constitutional Underpinning of The United States Government.
  • The Political Beliefs and Behaviors of the American People.
  • The Role of Political Parties, Interest Groups and Mass Media in our Society.
  • The Institution we Call our National Government.
  • How do we Establish and Carryout Public Policy.
  • The Preservation and Extension of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Students will be able to demonstrate the following nine skills upon completion:

  • Recognize the process of the formation and adoption of the Constitution
  • Understand the concept of separation of powers
  • Apply and recognize the idea of Federalism in our current society
  • Have a working knowledge of the different theories of democratic government
  • Explore the beliefs and behaviors of American people as they relate to their government and its leaders
  • Gain an understanding of the party system, interest groups, and how the media impacts the voting public
  • Seek to understand all aspects of government (Judicial, Legislative and Executive Branches) and the relationships between them
  • Understand the role the public has in establishing policies as it relates to both current and historic events in the political systems of the United States and in the world
  • Understand the historical and continual struggle to ensure civil rights and liberties to all people

This class considers the fundamental economic concepts and principles that govern personal finances. Students study how economic decisions affect their lives. They learn how to write and balance a checkbook, how credit works and the role that advertising plays in their lives. The instructor for the course utilizes Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace to teach the students a practical, hands-on approach to economics.

Languages Curriculum

Rosetta Stone® classroom software provides our Academic Department tremendous flexibility in language offerings. Students have engaged in Japanese, Hebrew, Latin, French, German, Mandarin, Italian, Latin Spanish, and Arabic courses. A variety of other languages are also available, depending on the needs of individual students. The utilization of this software allows our academic program to support the unique and individual interests of our students.

While we currently provide foreign language curriculum with this software, we have supplemental curricular materials for an on-site Spanish instructor to assist students in increasing vocabulary and grammatical structure. The materials include a scope and sequence that aligns with Idaho curricular standards.

The students in the language classes are supported in the computer lab by an instructor who monitors daily progress and assists them if they encounter technical difficulties.

Elective Curriculum

Each term, our elective course offerings vary, depending on the interests of the students, time of year, upcoming adventure education opportunities, and instructor availability.

Creative Writing
The class examined basic elements of creative writing that included use of concrete language, imagery, concise description, format and figurative language. It also examined techniques of introducing ideas through character’s actions rather than narrator’s explanations.

Shakespeare & the Shakespeare Festival
Originally designed as a course to prepare students for a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the course has been requested as a year-round elective possibility for those who wish to explore the plays of William Shakespeare. Students explore histories, tragedies, comedies and romances through self-selected texts, films and theater productions. The Shakespeare Festival elective includes a study of the plays that will be performed live in Ashland, Oregon. While on the trip, students have the opportunity to explore Shakespeare through theater tours, discussion groups and live productions. They also experience non-Shakespearean productions that share Shakespeare’s themes.

This course is set up as a student driven/ project based course with the goal of producing a monthly school newspaper (The Boulder Creek Chronicle) and an annual Yearbook. The class begins with an overview of journalism, the 5 W’s and the H and how journalism differs from other forms of writing. We look at journalism trends in the media and how to report news, both good and bad. Students then set up a schedule for the next newspaper and decide what articles will be included and begin working on The Boulder Creek Chronicle.

Integral pieces to the projects include team work, time management, organization, and creative problem solving. The skills students develop throughout the projects are photo-file management, photography, design, page layout and journalism. The programs used for the projects include the following: Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Word.

Students alternate between working on the newspaper and the yearbook. The yearbook photo files are organized and archived. Students participate in photography for the next yearbook and will have on-going photo and writing assignments as events occur throughout the year.

Visual Arts: Mixed Media
The Visual Arts is designed to introduce the student to a wide range of styles, mediums and compositions in the arts. Students work on painting, drawing, collage, and design projects. Materials used in classes include the following: watercolor, acrylic paint, pastels, charcoal, ink, scratchboard, colored pencil, graphite, markers, and printmaking. Surface materials include newsprint, watercolor paper, canvas, masonite, and rice paper. Students gain the understanding of composition, value, perspective and design through a variety of project, using the subject matters, landscapes, portraiture, caricature studies, anatomy and abstracts.

Students are encouraged to explore new mediums and subject matter and to express themselves creatively. Grading is based on participation, attendance, a number of graded assignments, including a final portfolio of cumulative work.

Students who have a background in art and a good understanding of the basic principles mentioned may have the opportunity to take on a long-term project, decided upon with the student and teacher. Some examples of long-term projects the students work on include murals, trompe l’oeil, calligraphy, children’s book illustrations and mosaics.

Ceramic Arts/Sculpture
The Ceramic Arts course is designed to encourage beginning and intermediate students gain the experience of exploring the medium of clay. Teacher demonstrations, books, videos and pottery samples are used to inspire the students. Students begin by making basic pots (the pinch pot, coil pot and/or a mug), understanding hand-building techniques. They then explore and use the potter’s wheel. After the students demonstrate a basic knowledge of the clay, they begin working on class assignments and are encouraged to come up with their own projects, challenging themselves and their own creativity. Students may choose utilitarian objects such as vases, jars, bowls and tea pots, or they may sculpt subject matter such as the human form, animals, or abstracts. Terms used in ceramics become a part of the language of clay and are taught in the class. Green ware, bisque ware and glazing are all phases toward the fired piece. Students use many different glazes and glazing techniques. Grading is based on attendance (excused vs .unexcused absences), participation, and finished pieces. Attention to detail is important in this class.

As this is an introductory pencil drawing class, no previous drawing experience is necessary to participate in the course. Throughout the class, students develop skills in line drawing, shading, perspective and the use of negative space. Assignments for the course include the completion of several drawings: forms, structures, landscapes and portraits.

Techniques and study of photographic art, in which students can select subjects, practice principles of composition and light and design, as they create photographic studies and develop images in a darkroom. Students explore a variety of subjects and participate in an interactive, creative laboratory process. Students may also participate in an academic field experience, i.e., Glacier National Park Photo Trip or may develop a thematic, landscape, nature study, or portrait photo project.

This class works with the seasons in nature both in the greenhouse and outside. Each student will be able to grow his own plants to use in the dorm and plant in the garden according to the season. Some of the students will make their own raised beds. Time will be provided outside of class to care for the plants. During this term, students will learn about different plants, how they grow, the history of horticulture, floral design and propagation of plants not started by seed. They will also help care for the school garden, which provides vegetables for the salad bar in the dining hall.

This course includes experience in group and individual voice, diction, harmony, melody, technique, and theory designed to introduce a variety of music. Students practice reading, interpreting, and creating music. Instrumental musicians, both staff and students, accompany singers. Live and pre-recorded sound is included, as students develop the dynamic experience of singing together. Voice students may perform individual selections or an entire program for on campus and community concerts.

Instrumental Music/Guitar/Percussion
These courses offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced tutorials for students interested in learning to play or developing their instrumental music skills. Students may participate in group or individual lessons, with focus on a variety of musical styles and genres, using the acoustic guitar and/or other acoustic instruments. Performance opportunities are available for more advanced students.