Academics

Hope incorporates a biblical worldview into our classes. We prepare our students for college and life through excellent, rigorous, and relevant classes. We emphasize public speaking and argumentative writing throughout our curriculum. In addition to core classes, students can select from a variety of unique electives each semester.

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OUR PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION

A Christian Philosophy of Education must begin, have its continual frame of reference, and end with the eternal God. Such conformity, acknowledges the following:

God is the ultimate source of all truth (John 14:6). Therefore, His Word (revealed truth) holds a position of priority over human reason. His Word enables one to view all of life, in both its temporal and eternal aspects from the perspective of the centrality of God rather than the centrality of man (Psalm 1:18-32). Any distinction between “sacred truth” and “secular truth” is, therefore, a false dichotomy.

A differentiation must be made between earthly wisdom (1 Corinthians 1-2; James 3:15) and spiritual wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30, 7:10-16; James 3:13,17), while acknowledging that the source of all true wisdom and understanding is God Himself (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33; Col 2:3).

The purpose of Christian education is to demonstrate to the student his need of a personal, saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and to nurture, admonish, and encourage the student to live in conformity with the revealed will of God through a life of service, wholly dedicated to and dependent upon God (Romans 12).

The process of Christian education requires the natural integration and consistent application of God’s Word into every area (academic, extracurricular, administrative, etc.) of Hope’s program (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Students do not have to be Christians in order to attend Chicago Hope Academy. We do not require that our students or their families align their personal faith with Hope’s Statement of Faith. Hope does, however, make no apologies about teaching from a Biblical worldview. We do require that our students abide by the boundaries and guidelines set by the Academy, with the understanding that many of these guidelines are Biblically-based.

Read our Statement of Faith

CORE CLASSES BY GRADE

View Elective Courses

9th Grade

Literature I
Algebra I
Computers
Health
Biology
Spanish I
Bible I

10th Grade

World Literature
Geometry
World History
Chemistry
Spanish II
Speech, Logic, Debate

11th Grade

American Literature
Algebra II
American History
Physics
Spanish III
College Writing

12th Grade

British Literature
Pre-Calculus/Calculus
Economics
Spanish IV
Senior Bible
Electives

Literature I

Professor of English and author, Karen Swallow Prior says of the influence of language in the process of one’s ‘becoming,’ “It is no coincidence that the term ‘voice’ has come to mean in modern usage much more than just the sound made by the vocal organs, but also the means by which we make our individual selves known, not only to others, but to ourselves. For the connection between the self and language is inseparable. It is through language that the self becomes.” The curriculum for Chicago Hope Academy’s Literature I class has been crafted by the underlying conviction that as image-bearers of a God whose creative love has long been expressed through truthful narrative and living Word, we are not intended to passively receive our legacy of story, but rather, we are to be molded and changed by the colorful tapestry of voices into which we are included. Since the Word of God wields the capacity to create life, our very being hinges upon God’s invention of voice and story.

Students in Literature I will be given foundational tools for the end-goal of understanding their own voices by way of collecting, analyzing, and applying language in the novel and short story. Throughout the duration of this class, students will contemplate various means by which words shape belief–  ultimately, considering the human condition from the lens of redemption and truth. Students will gain practice in close-reading, text analysis, comparison, and literary criticism within a collaborative environment. Critical reading of selected texts like The Hobbit, The Screwtape Letters, Shane, and Jane Eyre, will allow students to contemplate recurring themes such as adventure, home, personhood, dignity, and conviction. Since bi-directional conversation between story-tellers and readers alike is essential to one’s holistic “becoming,” this class seeks to foster an environment in which students learn how to nourish the voice they have been given for the meaningful call to champion truth and fight for that which is. 

World Literature

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

-Ludwig Wittgenstein (Tractatus Logico-Philosiphicus, 5.6)

This principle set forth and popularized by the Austrian philosopher of language Ludwig Wittgenstein forces us to accept the limitations of what words we have to use within the context of the language(s) that we speak. However, this does not mean that language gaps prevent mutual understanding of experience, but it shows the sizeable gap between knowledge and understanding across language barriers. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian novelist and short story writer, tells us in her TED talk “The Danger of a Single Story” that while universal experiences exist, the ways of relating this experience are not, in the same way, universal. She asserts that it is the job of the storytellers to relate these complex experiences in order to give dignity to the subject. This is our job as consumers of these stories.

In World Literature at Chicago Hope Academy, we will try to grapple with diverse texts and try to close the gap created by language and culture. We will do this by grounding each text in the cultural, political, socioeconomic, and linguistic context in which it was written in order to hold the texts together to find similar truths apparent in the vast differences of experience. We will expand our world by expanding our literary language.

Starting with a few of the “classics” of Western thought and literature, then moving to the long oppressed and silenced voices of the Majority World, and finishing up by reading works attempting to find common ground for what in all the mess binds us together as human. Through reading and writing about such a vast spread of experience, we will also hone our skills of analytic close-reading. Through this exploration of what makes us human, we may see more fully a reflection of God, as God’s image is on us as humans. It is only by realizing what this true reflection of God is in humans that we can then attempt to fulfill our equally hard and important tasks of loving our neighbor and loving the Divine.

American Literature

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”

-John Locke

It is with Locke’s words in mind that we shall approach this American Literature course. While we will read and encounter various forms and genres of literature throughout the year, the purpose of this course is not to merely read literary works for the sake of reading literature. Our desire is not to acquire solely the materials of knowledge. The primary aim of this course is to grow in our desire and ability to learn—to acquire knowledge and pursue truth.

This course will challenge students to think beyond merely what a text or author says. In this course, we will be just as concerned with the why. Literary analysis and critical thinking skills will be developed through discussion-based teaching. Class discussions will serve to develop students capacity for oral communication. Through intentional and consistent writing assignments, students will grow in their ability to communicate their perspectives in a clear, eloquent, and well-organized manner.

We will read and discuss a diverse selection from the American literary canon throughout the year. These works will range from the poetry and sermons of the Puritans to the short stories of the Romantics to the impactful autobiographies of the Civil Rights era. In each work, we will look to see what the author wishes to communicate about God, nature, society, and the individual. These themes will be imperative to our pursuit of knowledge and truth. It is Mr. Oosse’s hope that, through this course, students come to enjoy and love the diversity of the American literary tradition, but, ultimately, he hopes they come to know more about who they are, who God is, and how to continue on in the life-long pursuit of learning, knowledge, and truth.

British Literature

“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”

-C.S. Lewis (The Magician’s Nephew)

As Lewis states, our understanding of people and ideas is in large measure determined by our perspective and character. Mr. Schreiber’s perspective and character have an indelible imprint of his British boarding school experience. It was there that he wandered Shakespeare’s barren heath with the tragic Macbeth, sailed Coleridge’s Southern Ocean with the ancient mariner, and discovered Lewis’s wintry Narnia with the Pevensie siblings. It was at his boarding school that he mined the quarries of British literature and unearthed the jewels of beauty, goodness, and truth.

British Literature at Chicago Hope Academy is a quest for perspective and character essential to experiencing beauty, goodness, and truth. This quest is undertaken through a thematic survey of the literature within the context of the history of events and ideas. We read a generous selection of works, including those by Shakespeare, Coleridge, and Lewis.

These and other works call for deep reading, insightful thinking, and careful communication. We learn how to faithfully interpret the works as a community of scholars. We also learn how to effectively engage in communication through oral presentations and written assignments. The course is heavily driven by class discussion as we question and defend our varied interpretations of the works we read. Ultimately, our goal in the British Literature course is to better understand our humanity in the face of God, who alone is Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.

Speech, Logic, Debate

Speech, Logic, and Debate has one main goal— to give you, the student, the tools to express yourself with clarity and grace.  We will begin our time together by reading through The Speaker’s Compact Handbook, a resource that should prove to be helpful in developing us into confident comfortable public speakers. During this portion of the course students will present a number of speeches to the class. The second portion of the course will  be devoted to the framing of argumentation. While studying logic students will present argumentative speeches to the class, and write a few papers. The final portion of this course will unite the previous two sections, during this portion students will develop the skills to debate effectively, and with humility.

All told, Mr. Smith’s prayer is that through taking this class and by engaging with the course, a student will grow to understand the importance of communicating effectively and grow to be confident, discerning, and effective public communicators. To this end we will challenge ourselves. 

College Writing

The year is mapped out to reflect an understanding of writing and to build not just textual knowledge, but also endurance, persistence, and flexibility in writing. The assignments will take you through “laps” of (1) daily notebook writing, (2) studying mentor texts and passages, (3) student and teacher “model” writing, and (4) conferencing and assessing the progress in each covered genre. In addition, both free reading and assigned reading will be interjected, for research proves that readers write better. As a bonus, expect guest writers to visit the classroom either through the classroom door or on a computer screen.

First Semester
According to Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” In preparation for writing college essays, students will tour through Narrative Writing or Storytelling by penning short memoirs, narrative scenes, and multi-scene stories. Continuing the traverse, students will park for a while near Informational Writing exercises, with infographics, writing reviews, and crafting a digital project. Meanwhile, students will conduct service checks in sentence and paragraph structure, as well as the elements of writing in their compositions.

Second Semester
“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”—Henry David Thoreau

The Third Quarter writing will drive down the road to constructing Argumentative work, including critical and ethical reviews, presidential candidate letters, and digital public service announcements. Nearing the homestretch of year end, students will assemble a Multi-genre Research Project including, “Dear Reader” letters, tributes (obituaries/epitaphs), and podcasts. Throughout the semester, there will be tune-ups of grammar studies in footnotes and works cited.

Survey of the Bible

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Scriptures through looking at the main parts of the Biblical narrative. The course will cover the narratives and significant characters of the Old Testament and New Testament. The course is ecumenical in character and will look at Scripture through the lens of the apostolic church.

Senior Bible

This course examines the fundamental presuppositions of the Christian faith by engaging the question of God’s existence, understanding the major theistic world religions, and exploring worldviews along with their development throughout history. Upon this foundation, the course will build a robust, cumulative case for Christian Theism and discuss how the use of Scripture informs the practice of the modern day church.

Joint Statement on Creation

The Department of Theology and Department of Sciences have written a joint statement on creation. You can read it here.

Biology

Topics throughout the year range from being a scientist, relevancy of the study of biology, what makes humans unique, behavioral disorders of the brain, evolution, intelligent design, structure and characteristics of viruses, characteristics of living things, the five kingdoms, biological hierarchical classification, internal environment of organisms, and the human body systems. We also explore homeostasis, health and diseases, performance and fitness, cellular basis of activity, cycling of matter and flow of energy in communities, reproduction, patterns of inheritance, gene action, processes and patterns of development, the human life span, and inter-dependence among organisms in the biosphere.

Chemistry

This Chemistry course is designed to provide students opportunities to develop and use important Chemistry concepts and skills needed to understand the chemistry behind some issues and problems in the community. Each main unit in this course introduces a chemistry related concern in the community. Students will complete exercises and perform appropriate laboratory investigations or internet research as they apply their chemistry knowledge and skills to an issue or problem. Projects dealing with the extension of the topics will be completed by the Honors class. Topics include the properties, contaminants, and purification techniques for water, periodic table, ionic compounds, uses and mining of metals, mole concept, stoichiometry, covalent compounds, organic builder molecules, gas laws, acids and bases, and nuclear interactions. The Honors class will learn additional topics like periodicity, Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressure, and other organic compound groups like aldehydes, ketones, esters, and carboxylic acids.

Physics

Physics, originally birthed out of philosophy, branched off and became an important physical science that was fundamental in understanding the physical world around us. It continues to make much progress in its scope and discovery.

Students will be introduced to the laws of physics including the mathematical aspect of problem-solving required in physics and to the social and historical aspect of physics as an evolving body of human knowledge about nature. Some of the concepts that students will study include Newtonian mechanics, heat, waves, sound, light and optics, electricity and magnetism.

Joint Statement on Creation

The Department of Theology and Department of Sciences have written a joint statement on creation. You can read it here.

Algebra I

We will journey together through Algebra 1 to distill, understand and apply key principles of Algebra to the lives of our students and their other disciplines. This foundational course aims to offer students a broad overview of algebraic topics; they will hone their skills simplifying, evaluating, and solving the equations and functions of Algebra. By building fluency with these skills, students will develop habits of a great Mathematician with a mindset of collaboration and creative problem solving. With a solid base in Algebra, students will be primed for a successful career in mathematics here at Hope.

Geometry 

Geometry is the mathematical study of how figures with varying shapes, sizes, and relative positions fit together in visual space. Students taking this course will grow in their understanding of logical and formal reasoning, as well as the ability to visualize and solve mechanical and visual problems. Students will learn the classical Euclidean methods for describing and measuring figures, and will practice critical thinking using fundamental logical principles.

Algebra II

Algebra II equips students to expand their use and knowledge of algebra and use it as a tool in various life applications. Students will begin by exploring problem-solving skills that will be used to further study linear relationships, quadratic functions, graphing, and other applications.

Pre-Calculus

“Mathematics is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed to us by human agency.”
– Rene Descartes (1952)

At Chicago Hope Academy, pre-calculus weaves together the disciplines of algebra, geometry, and mathematical functions in a course designed to not only prepare students for calculus, but to sharpen their reasoning and grow their critical thinking skills. In this course, we will work as a group to both master the critical skills of pre-calculus and become exposed to concepts that will equip students to be successful in subsequent courses. Class will be
spent predominantly in collaboration; not just taking notes from a lecture. Mr. Damkoehler’s philosophy is that math is best learned when applied, not in isolation, but in groups. Students will be given the opportunity to approach real world problems and solve them together using the concepts of pre-calculus and their own critical thinking abilities. This will serve to teach and reinforce the concepts in a way that lecturing alone cannot achieve.

The first semester will focus on learning many types of functions (the basis of calculus and other higher mathematics courses) and their resulting graphs. The students will study the properties and graphs of trigonometric, polynomial, rational, inverse, exponential, and logarithmic functions. The second semester will be dedicated to exploring inequalities, complex numbers, matrices, vectors, sequences, series, and limits.

AP Calculus AB 

AP Calculus AB is a college-ready calculus course for students who intend on studying math in college, whether as a primary major or as a component of another field. The class is designed around one objective: to make students fluent in calculus concepts and methods, so that they will successfully pass the AP Calculus AB Exam in May 2020. The content of this course is set by the College Board, and we will follow their syllabus closely. The first semester will be a survey of calculus concepts, including limits, differentiation, integration, various applications, and basic differential equations. The second semester will pivot into test-taking strategies, practice sessions, and analysis of past AP questions and solutions.

Taking the AP Exam is not required for this course, but is strongly recommended. A passing score of 4-5 can save time (and money!) in the first years of college, while receiving a lesser score carries no real penalty. Students should plan on attempting it.

AP Calculus BC*

*AP Calculus BC will be offered as a class only if minimum number of enrollment is met, otherwise it will be offered as an independent study course with full one-on-one support from a qualified faculty member.

Statistics

“Statistics is the grammar of science.”
– Karl Pearson

We are surrounded by numbers. The technological revolution has brought with it an unprecedented amount of data. In this class, we will learn to find the meaning in those numbers. Almost every discipline in life will directly or indirectly require that one is able to successfully interpret and use data. This class is designed to prepare students to make informed decisions in their respective fields. Class time will be spent predominantly in collaboration; not just taking notes from a lecture. Mr. Damkoehler’s philosophy is that statistics is best learned when applied, not in isolation, but in groups. Students will be given the opportunity to approach real world problems and solve them together using the concepts taught in this class and their own critical thinking abilities.

Students will learn to examine relationships using correlations and least square regression. We will look at both simple and compound events and learn to calculate their probability. They will learn to estimate with confidence as well as explore tests of significance. We will look at several published authors together and learn to evaluate the validity of the statistics they contain. We will take the concepts being taught and apply them to everything from card games to crime rates.

World History

Why do we study history? How should we study history in a world where we have easy access to information via technology? In this course, we will examine the answers to these questions in order to develop a deeper understanding of how to engage with the world that we live in. This will help us further be able to follow Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves, as we learn about why different groups of people throughout history acted in the ways that they did and how those decisions continue to have an impact today.

The content of this course will be a survey of world history. This will help students develop a basic understanding of various cultures, especially those that have impacted the United States. It will also further prepare students for further study of history in the future. We will begin our survey with ancient civilizations and continue through the present time. In the context of learning these historical facts, students will also learn to develop critical thinking skills. This will include how to understand the context and perspective of an author, how to empathize with others (including those we disagree with), and how to develop and defend arguments based on historical sources.

American History

American History is a course designed to develop the historical lenses of contextualization, comparison, causation, continuity and change over time as they relate to the American context. The course will focus on the social, political, and economic experiences that have shaped how the Nation has developed through the years of 1491-2018.

Economics

The course is designed for students to learn about the economy and its effect on our world. Students will learn practical pillars of economic theory and have the opportunity to get real-world experience with several entrepreneurial programs. Throughout the year students will also meet and hear from current business professionals and their experiences.

Government 

In the Politics, Aristotle states that “man is a political animal.” For many high school students, however, their political knowledge amounts to little more than whatever views their parents hold. This course is meant to encourage students to become political animals, equipping them with the tools, knowledge, and ability to formulate and convey educated political opinions through a Christ-centered worldview.

Students will achieve this through participation in We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, a program conducted nationally by the Center for Civic Education. We the People (WTP) is a civics curriculum that is designed to prepare students to compete against other schools in the format of a simulated congressional hearing. While WTP succeeds in teaching students what they need to know about American government, meeting the Common Core requirements, it also offers them so much more. Students will become well-versed in American history, political philosophy, rhetoric, current events, and political science. They will also acquire invaluable soft skills such as oral and written communication, persuasion, teamwork, public speaking, critical thinking, and research that will benefit them for a lifetime.

The second semester will be devoted to preparing students for the Advanced Placement U.S. Government & Politics examination. In the second semester, students will also participate in field trips and take part in projects that will encourage civic awareness and engagement. High school government and WTP are near and dear to my heart. I, myself, am an alum of the We the People program, winning Michigan state titles as a competitor and a student-coach and placing eighth in the national competition. I reflect upon my experience with WTP as the academic highlight of high school, not due to the accolades I and my team received, but due to the skills and tools that WTP equipped me with. It is my hope that this course may serve to impact those who take it in the same way that it impacted me.

Spanish I

Spanish I concentrates on understanding and mastering basic sound patterns and meaningful vocabulary and grammar to prepare the learner to use the language appropriately in a variety of situations.  The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are all emphasized to develop abilities in oral and written expression.

Honors Spanish 

The Honors Spanish course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentation modes of communication in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The Honors Spanish course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Spanish.

Spanish III & IV

El curso está diseñado desde la perspectiva de la Literatura Comparada, disciplina académica creada en el XIX y que tiene como objetivo establecer un diálogo fructífero entre las diversas tradiciones culturales a partir de las obras literarias. En este sentido el curso destacará la lectura y el análisis de textos literarios -en su mayoría obras literarias canónicos de cada tradición-, leídos en traducción y algunos escritos originalmente en castellano. El curso está dictado siguiendo los lineamientos y requisitos del Programa Polimodal y el Bachillerato Internacional (IB)en específica relación con la preparación del examen internacional a fin del próximo año.

Faculty

Yohan Hwang

Survey of the Bible

Henry Hasson

Senior Bible

Josh Lam

United States History

Wyatt Baker

Economics

Johanna DeHaven

World History

Stephen Schreiber

British Literature

Brendan Oosse

American Literature

Jon Kiefner

World Literature

Makenna Karnosh

Literature I

Charles Smith

Speech, Logic, Debate

Morriah Grauer

Freshman Composition

Nancy Cole

College Writing

Anosh Wasker

Physics

Tim Mayotte

Biology

Ruby Lorenzo

Chemistry

Bart Marchant

Algebra I

David Hudson

Geometry

Vanessa Smith

Algebra II

Luke Damkoehler

Pre-Calculus & Statistics

Victoria Santiago

Spanish I & II

Jose Ortiz-Morris

Honors Spanish I, II, III

Karina Maya

Spanish III & IV

ELECTIVES & CLUBS

Chicago Hope Academy is proud to offer a wide array of club choices. Clubs have the potential to change every year based on student interest.

Art Club

Art club is a time for students to relax and express creativity through art. This club serves as an outlet for all of those who love to create using paints, pencils, and markers.

Chapel Worship Team

Every week, students lead worship on stage during our Friday chapel. During the course of the week, students rehearse and learn to play various gospel and worship melodies.

Film

Students will explore the narrative, artistic and cultural impact of a number of classical films, and in the process gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for aesthetic value.

Improv Club

No experience needed! Develop wit, creativity, quick-thinking, and acting skills through comedy theatre. As a team, we’ll develop skills to perform a show by the end of the year.

P.A.A.C.

Political Action & Awareness Club. Come discuss & research current events.

Photography

In Photography, students will become familiar with great photographers and their techniques. They may create a portfolio of their own constructed around a theme, and present to the rest of the club for critique. The club is designed to help students ask good questions about photographs and become sensitive to artistic expression in general through photography.

Readers Theater

Readers Theater is a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script form. Readers read from a script and parts are divided among the readers. No memorization, costumes, blocking, or special lighting is needed. We will act out the parts as we read along.

Robotics Club

The Hope Robotics team builds robots to compete in a FIRST robotics competition. Stellar minds and steady hands are necessary on this squad of future engineers!

Strategy Games

A time to strategize and compete over your favorite board games and card games. Join for a fun way to develop your logic and problem solving skills.

Student Government

Are you the next President of the United States? The next Treasurer or Secretary of State? Your journey starts here. Run your campaign, win the election, and lead your school! Student government helps organize a variety of school events.

COLLEGE PREP RESOURCES

Scholarships and College Planning

College-Match Assessment
Use the class pin ZHJV9X to complete the survey and get your results!

My College Options

FAFSA

Black College Tours Scholarship Page | Fast Web ScholarshipsFinAid Scholarships | Scholarships.com | Student Award Search Aid

10 Steps to Writing a College Essay

College Board
Explore the ins and outs of different colleges

College Greenlight
Find colleges, scholarships, and free fly-in programs

Illinois Student Assistant Commission
Helps answer any questions you about financial aid, FAFSA, loans, and scholarships

College Factual
A free website that helps students discover their best-fit college and major

ACT prep

ACT Prep

Contact Mr. Peter Dukes for password and account set up. Click this link to go to Naviance.

Follow these steps to get started on ACT Prep:

  1. Login to your Naviance Account
  2. Find “Naviance Test Prep” on the bottom left side of the screen
  3. Set the test date under “Days Until” for your next upcoming test
  4. Take the diagnostic test and follow the study tasks based on your skills

*Pro Tip: Play the games and use at least 1 or 2 practice tests to build your skills and confidence. 

Social & Emotional Health

Mental Health Month at NAMI

College Mentoring Experience
Offer curriculum based & sports enriched programming with hot breakfast served. Mentoring is free every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for 6th – 12th grade males.

Midtown Center for Boys and Metro & Achievement Center for Girls
Has summer enrichment programs which include service opportunities, college readiness programs, career exploration, apprenticeships and more.