Students enter the (HS)2 program during the summer following their 9th grade year, and for three consecutive summers, they spend five weeks taking courses in mathematics, science and English or college counseling at Colorado Rocky Mountain School. (HS)2 courses consist of topics not usually covered in secondary school, or they examine topics in greater depth than would be expected during the academic year. The pace is fast, the homework assignments are substantial, and the selectivity of the program assures that both students and faculty have high expectations for the work to be accomplished in every course. The (HS)2 curriculum challenges students to develop a strong work ethic and time management skills.
The mathematics offerings are sequential and include algebra, pre-calculus, and calculus. The science curriculum includes a biology, chemistry, and physics. Each week, students spend 10 hours each in mathematics and science classes. In addition, all first-year students spend 10 hours weekly in English classes, second-year students spend 5 hours weekly in English classes and 5 hours in college counseling, and third-year students participate 10 hours weekly in a comprehensive college counseling course.
Monday through Friday
7:00 – 7:50 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Math or Science
10:00 – 10:10 a.m. Morning Break
10:15 – 12:15 p.m. Math or Science
12:20 – 12:55 p.m. Lunch
1:00– 3:00 p.m. English/College Counseling
3:15 – 5:30 p.m. Afternoon Activity (no afternoon activity on Wednesday)
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Study hall & help sessions
9:30 p.m. – 6 a.m. Presence required in dorm
All first-year students are placed in the appropriate sections based on materials received prior to the students’ arrival and the results of a test developed by the (HS)2 faculty. This test is administered at the student’s home school and evaluated by the (HS)2 faculty. In the second and third year mathematics courses, placement is based on the previous summer’s performance.
Topics covered in algebra include: solving linear equations; problem-solving strategies; graphing linear equations; quadratic equations; complex numbers and functions. Students used graphing calculators where appropriate.
Topics covered in pre-calculus include mathematical modeling with linear and quadratic equations; functions and transformations; descriptive statistics; curve fitting and modeling; recursion and iteration. Students worked with TI-83 graphing calculators extensively in order to study functions that would be very difficult to graph by hand.
Topics covered in calculus include: properties of limits, derivatives, applications of derivatives, definite and indefinite integrals.
An intensive examination of topics that are frequently left out of conventional high school biology courses due to lack of time and shortage of laboratory space. Students gain an appreciation of the importance of biology and practice writing in both a descriptive and in an investigative manner. Each class spends a significant amount of time in the lab.
This course is a general overview of stoichiometry, thermochemistry, gas laws, electron configuration, solutions, equilibrium, acids and bases, and oxidation-reduction reactions. Students gain skills and confidence in the laboratory and become proficient at writing succinct laboratory reports.
Physics is treated as an introduction to Newtonian mechanics without calculus so that students may develop an appreciation of the power of a small number of physics principles. A special emphasis is placed on the development of the mathematical tools necessary to solve quantitative problems and the importance of careful writing in presenting lab results and a term paper on a physics-related topic.
The English component of the (HS)2 program is a two-year sequence which emphasizes expository writing to ensure that the (HS)2 scholars achievements in mathematics and science are complemented by the writing skills which are vitally important to students in all fields of study.
First-year scholars work on the fundamentals of critical reading and developing basic writing and communication skills. The first-year course focuses primarily on strengthening basic writing skills through a review of elemental grammar and an introduction to the fundamental rules of writing. Students also read selected essays and short stories as models of good writing. Class discussion of writing strategies and the ideas expressed in the readings assist students in developing their analytical skills as well as further enhancing their writing abilities.
Second-year scholars focus on literary analysis with an emphasis on critical reading and writing skills. The second-year course builds on the writing skills developed in first-year English by focusing more on essay writing. After a brief review of elemental grammar and the rules of writing, students concentrate on strengthening their essay-writing skills. Selected readings of essays and longer texts serve as a catalyst for class discussion as well as a source of paper topics. In the second half of the course, students explore various modes of essay writing, including narration, persuasion and exposition.
Second & Third Year
Second and third-year scholars participate in a college counseling course. This course covers the admissions process from the information-gathering stage to the decision stage for the third-year students. Topics covered include visiting colleges, interviewing, writing the essay, financial aid, how admission committees work, and how to proceed towards making the right match.