Magnet Course of Study

Sylmar Charter High Science Tech Math Magnet Course of Study
The Sylmar Charter High School STM Magnet is committed to providing a rigorous academic program that successfully prepares our students for selective universities. This is done in a close-knit, family environment that provides support for academic success and social responsibility.

All academic classes are offered at the honors or advanced placement level.  Students are required to complete research projects and reports in all academic subjects.  We develop well rounded students who excel in academics and leadership qualities.  A wide variety of Athletics, clubs and activities are available.  A nurturing atmosphere, dedicated staff, small classes, and friendly student body contribute to our students' success.

Ninth Grade
Honors Math* (Algebra 1, Geometry or Algebra 2)
Honors Biology* 
Honors English* 
Health* / Ethnic Studies* (1 semester each)
Honors Spanish* (We have different levels for native and non native speakers)
Physical Education (Band and sports teams fulfill this requirement)

Tenth Grade
Honors Math* (Geometry, Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus)
Honors Chemistry* (Advanced Placement available)
Honors English* 10 
Honors World History* (Advanced Placement available)
Honors Spanish* (We have different levels for native and non native speakers)
Physical Education (Band and sports teams fulfill this requirement)

Eleventh Grade
Honors Math* (Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus or AP Calculus)
Honors Physics* (Advanced Placement available)
Honors American Literature/Comp* or Advanced Placement English Language* 
Honors U.S. History* (Advanced Placement available)
Honors Spanish* 3 or AP Spanish Language* or Literature* 
Fine Art or Sport

Twelfth Grade
Honors Pre-Calculus*, AP Calculus* or Statistics*
Science Elective* (see below)
Honors English Literature/Comp* or AP English Literature*
Honors Government*/Economics* (1 semester each, or Advanced Placement available)
Elective
Fine Art or Sport

Science Electives include Astronomy, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Genetics, Forensic Science, Zoology, Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement Chemistry and Advanced Placement Physics.

*ALL Magnet Classes above are required classes and meet all university entrance requirements.  They are indicated with the *.  Magnet Students may not take these classes in summer school unless they are making up a poor grade.  Magnet Students must take Math and Science every year.

Toulmin Method of Argumentation
Critical thinking, and the ability to write and speak well, are of primary importance in our Magnet Program.  The heart of good writing and speaking is sound thinking.  Writing and speaking are not only an end in themselves, but a means to an end as students learn effective argumentation, and the type of analytical reasoning necessary for college success.  In 2006, we realized that the writing strategies that most high schools had been using were not adequately preparing our students for work at the university level. Furthermore, most students enter our program with gaps in their writing, speaking and critical thinking skills.  To achieve our goals, we have adopted the Toulmin Method of Argumentation to help students develop writing, speaking and critical thinking skills.

The Toulmin Method, based on the work of philosopher Stephen Toulmin, is one way of analyzing a text.  Magnet students are taught to use this method to make a well reasoned argument and analyze the limitations of an argument using logical reasoning.  Furthermore, it helps students understand how to better evaluate the claims made by others, whether they are in the political arena or advertizing. In addition to providing a comprehensive writing strategy, the Toulmin Method helps our students to develop their critical thinking, analysis, speaking and decision making skills.

Our approach to teaching the Toulmin Method of Argument is systemic. The Toulmin Method is used as the structure for writing assignments, analysis of sources and debates in all courses. It has parallels between the Scientific Method and the logic that is used in mathematical proofs.  If you are interested in our templates and graphic organizers, please see our Toulmin Information Guide below. If you would like to learn more about the Toulmin Method, we recommend Colorado State University’s web site http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=58. We also recommend An Introduction to Reasoning, by Stephan Toulmin.
 
If your interested in knowing more about the specific objectives of each course, please see our Curriculum Objectives document.
                       
You may download the files below for more information.

CALCULATING YOUR OFFICIAL LAUSD GRADE POINT AVERAGE
The LAUSD Grade Point Average is a somewhat complex calculation.  Please click on the spreadsheet document called GPA below to access a tool that will help you calculate your official GPA. This is NOT the University of California GPA, NCAA GPA or Financial Aide GPA. Those use a different calculation.