Chelsea Public Schools - Bridge to Success

Academic Departments and Course Search


Bridge Academy Department Overview

Category: Bridge Academy, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: The Bridge Academy is a school-within-a-school at Chelsea High School that encompasses the Language Learners (ELL) program for grades 9 - 12. All of the teachers and support staff in the Bridge Academy are trained to work with - and support - newcomers and second-language learners. The Bridge Academy was founded on five core principles:

  • Cultural and language differences are respected, valued, and celebrated;
  • Collaboration informs every aspect of classroom instruction and daily operation for students, faculty, and staff;
  • Integration of content-based ESL instruction occurs across a curriculum tailored to students' diverse and changing needs;
  • Accountability and high expectations guide all aspects of programming, instruction, and operation; and
  • The social and emotional needs of students and families are considered together with classroom instruction.

The primary focus of the Bridge Academy is preparing students to successfully transition into regular classes at Chelsea High School. The timing of this transition is based mostly on standardized test scores, along with academic performance, and Bridge Academy teacher and staff input.


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English Department Overview

Category: English Language Arts, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: English Language Arts (ELA) Department courses are designed to provide students with the tools necessary to improve their skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and critical thinking. Students learn to read for information, but also to appreciate the beauty and power of language through exposure to both classical and contemporary literature.

Writing instruction focuses as much on the process of writing as on the end product, which allows students to develop critical-thinking skills, organize and convey information, and evaluate their work. All ELA Department courses focus on group discussions and cooperative learning to help students become well-rounded, effective communicators who are comfortable with both spoken and written expression.

The ELA department curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Standards.


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Pathways Overview

Category: Pathways, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: The Pathways Program offers juniors an opportunity to concentrate their studies in and gain wider exposure to - a career of their choice. The program's primary goal is connecting students' academic work with potential career pathways. Students develop career connections by combining the high expectations and academic rigor of a college preparatory academic program with the real-world relevance of career and technical education. This integrated approach, used in more than 2,500 schools nationwide, helps students build a strong foundation for success in college, career, and life.

Students who participate in the Pathway program join small learning communities and take a dedicated cluster of courses in their Pathway. Students are co-taught by a group of teachers who take an interdisciplinary approach to each Pathway's course work and collaborate on common curriculum units within the Pathway's course cluster. For the 2018-19 school year, there are three Pathways available:

Health & Life Sciences (HLS) - This Pathway provides an interdisciplinary and integrated survey of both the scientific and career components of the rapidly growing Health and Life Science industries. This interdisciplinary approach used in HLS allows students to experience real-life and practical applications of the curriculum they may not have considered previously.

Law & Public Policy (LPP) - This Pathway focuses core academic courses - English, science, and history - through a 'legal lens, but not with the goal of preparing students for careers in criminal justice, law, or law enforcement. Instead, students use an area of common interest to foster engagement and focus. The interdisciplinary approach used in LPP gives the curriculum real-life and practical application, and allows students to explore aspects of potential careers they might not have previously considered.

Education (EDU) - This pathway trains students to become urban educators, with the ultimate goal of having our students return to Chelsea to teach. Students take history and English courses that provide the history of education and expose students to issues in public education. Students also take a methods class that will teach and coach them on how to become educators. After students complete their coursework, they participate in an internship in a classroom where they will continue to transition into teachers. The goal of the pathway is for students to graduate from Salem State or another higher education institution with a Masters in Education.

Pathway Core Components

  • Academics: All students take rigorous, standards-based, academic core courses united by a cross-disciplinary teaching approach and career theme.
  • Internship: all students participate in a Semester-long community- or school-based internship related to their Pathway.
  • College and Career Planning: Students are engaged in a College and Career Planning class to help gain and refine professional skills associated with their internship as well as learning about and managing various post secondary tasks such as: college applications, financial aid planning, career research, resume writing, etc.
  • Performance Assessments: Students demonstrate mastery of their academic coursework through at least three interdisciplinary performance assessments.
  • College Coursework: Students enroll in Bunker Hill Community College courses at CHS to experience college-level coursework and fulfill pre-requisites and/or coursework toward certificates and degrees in their Pathway focus area.

Enrolling in a Pathway

To be considered for the 2018-19 Pathway program, students must:

  • Be in good standing in at least three (3) of their four (4) core academic classes (ELA, history, math, and science) at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
  • Submit an application to the Pathway program of their choice;
  • Be able to take the complete Pathway course cluster while staying on track towards meeting their graduation requirements.

The Benefits of Enrolling in a Pathway

Pathway students have an opportunity to take courses together with a group of students who share common interests.

Pathway students are able to connect with people already employed in their field of interest. Pathway students participate in an internship program, and each Pathway provides numerous field trip opportunities and hosts guest speaker presentations regularly. These activities all support academic learning while giving students real-world opportunities to explore potential careers.

Pathway students have a structured opportunity to focus on college and/or career planning. All students enrolled in a Pathway complete a college application, learn about financial planning for college or career training, and develop a detailed, personalized, post-secondary plan of action.

Pathway Course Clusters

When students enroll in a Pathway, they register for a specific cluster of courses that form the core of their Pathway experience. Students must register for all of their Pathway's courses to participate. Students may not register for individual Pathway courses.
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Foreign Language Department Overview

Category: Foreign Language, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: Speaking a second language is now an important part of preparing for numerous careers. Students report that after graduating from college and getting their first job, their second language skills give them access to more opportunities and improve their chances for promotion. Research shows that good communication skills are important tools for achieving success in most 21st century careers.

Foreign language students focus on this aspect of learning while increasing their knowledge about the societies where the language is spoken, including its art, music, popular culture, literature, food, and history. In a world becoming a global village, people still remain isolated from each other in many respects. Studying foreign languages can begin to break down many of these barriers.

The Foreign Language Department curriculum is aligned with the current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.





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History and Social Science Overview

Category: History and Social Science, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: Our goal is to help students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society and an interdependent world. Cicero, a famous Roman statesman, wrote, 'to be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.' In today's world of complex economic and socio-political problems and rapid change, the need for well-informed citizens has never been greater.

A well-rounded social science education helps students understand the complexity of the modern world by providing a conceptual framework through which to understand their personal, social, and historical circumstances. Students come to realize that the past has created the present, and that historical processes have shaped ' and continue to shape ' the world. This understanding helps them plan their futures and affect positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Our focus is on integrating the study of history with geography, civics, economics, law, government, religion, and other cultural studies. Courses are designed to help students practice historical analysis by applying advanced critical-thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students are also given the chance to experience the political process first-hand through participation in extracurricular programs like the Harvard Model Congress, Mock Trial, and the Chelsea High School Senate.The History and Social Science Department curriculum is aligned with the current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.


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Mathematics Department Overview and Flowchart

Category: Mathematics, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: Our courses are designed to teach strong mathematical and problem-solving skills. All courses incorporate lessons designed to help students develop the literacy skills necessary to succeed in mathematics and effectively communicate their reasoning to others. We emphasize the development of critical thinking and problem-solving techniques that are not specific to mathematics, and can be applied to real-world problems, including coursework in other subject areas. Our courses are designed to support each student, regardless of his or her mathematics skill level. The Mathematics Department course curricula are currently being revised so that all courses are aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks and the Common Core standards.


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Performing Arts Department Overview and Flowchart

Category: Performing Arts, Department Overviews
Description: Our students explore music, dance, and drama and expand and refine their talents through classroom work and a range of extra-curricular activities including the Drama Program, Jazz Band, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and select performance ensembles. Our relationships with organizations like the Boston Symphony, the Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theater, the Emerson and Huntington Theaters, the North Shore Music Theater, Shakespeare & Company, and Berklee College of Music allow students to attend performances by musicians and artists from around the world.

Our courses benefit students who have a casual interest in music, drama, and dance, as well as those who wish to pursue a career in the performing arts. Our goal is to develop well-rounded students who appreciate the joy that the performing arts can bring to life, as well as the important personal and social values that music, dance, and drama can develop and reinforce.

The Performing Arts Department curriculum is aligned with the current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.

Performing Arts Department Flowchart


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Physical Education Department Overview

Category: Physical Education, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: All students should be physically fit as well as academically fit. The Physical Education Department's courses are designed to help students understand the importance of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle beyond their high school years. Students also have an opportunity to use their problem-solving and team-building skills in the Project Adventure experience, which offers a range of physical and mental challenges and a high ropes course.

The Physical Education Department curriculum is aligned with the current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.

Massachusetts State Annual Physical Education Requirement

Chapter 71, Section 3 of the Massachusetts General Laws states that 'Physical education (PE) shall be taught as a required subject in all grades for all students in the public schools for the purpose of promoting the physical well-being of such students.' Every Chelsea High School student must meet this requirement during each school year they are enrolled.

There are four ways a student can meet the state requirement:

  1. By taking a traditional PE class during the school day.
  2. By participating in a state-approved, school-based program or activity that meets the PE requirement. Some options that meet the requirement include, but are not limited to:
    • Joining a Chelsea High School athletic team;
    • Joining a Chelsea High School cheerleading squad;
    • Taking a dance class offered by the Performing Arts Department;
    • Participating in the Stay in Shape program offered at Chelsea High School in partnership with MGH Chelsea; or
    • Participating in the before or after school Weight Training courses offered by the PE department.
  3. By documenting participation in an athletic program or activity outside of school that meets the PE requirement. Some options that meet the requirement include, but are not limited to:
    • Joining a team in an organized sports league;
    • Current membership in a gym or health club, with regular attendance;
    • Taking an organized class in figure skating, martial arts, yoga, Pilates, rock climbing or other athletic activity; and
    • Taking ballet or other dance classes or actively participating in an organized dance group or program.
  4. By documenting a medical condition that excuses the student from participating in PE. Chapter 71 Part 3 states that ''no pupil shall be required to take part in physical education exercises if a licensed physician certifies in writing that in his opinion such physical education exercises would be injurious to the pupil.'

Documenting Participation in Athletic Activity Outside of School

Any parent or legal guardian of a student who wishes to document that their son or daughter participates in an athletic program or activity outside of school that meets the annual Massachusetts Physical Education requirement must do the following:

  1. Submit a letter to the Chelsea High School Registrar requesting that an activity outside of school be counted towards the student's annual PE requirement;
  2. Provide documentation of the student's participation in the outside activity, such as a copy of a registration form, a payment receipt, etc; and
  3. Provide documentation of the number of hours per week that the student participates in the activity.

Medical Waivers

Any parent or legal guardian of a student who wishes to document that their son or daughter has a medical condition exempting them from the annual Massachusetts Physical Education requirement must do the following:

  1. Submit a letter to the Chelsea High School Registrar that the student has a physical or medical condition that prevents him or her from participating in an a PE class; and
  2. Provide documentation from a licensed physician or the MGH Student Health Center of the physical or medical condition to the Chelsea High School nurse's office.

Parents or guardians who have questions about the annual Massachusetts Physical Education requirement should call the Chelsea High School Registrar at 617-466-5004. Parents or guardians who have questions about, or need more information about, medical waivers for PE should call the Chelsea High School nurse's office at 617-466-5210 or the MGH Chelsea Student Health Center at 617-466-5037.

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Reading Department Overview

Category: Reading, Department Overviews
Description: All students must have strong literacy skills to ensure academic success, future economic opportunities, and the development of self-sufficiency to thrive in the 21st Century. Our courses are designed to provide intensive and explicit instruction for students struggling to master basic reading skills. Students are placed in courses based on their performance on the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) and SPI (Scholastic Phonics Inventory) standardized tests, their score on the ELA portion of the MCAS exams, diagnostic assessments, as well as their academic history and teacher recommendations.

We use five placement levels:

  • Students with Lexile levels below 300, with scores below Advance Decoder on SPI testing, are placed in System 44;
  • Students with Lexile levels below 500 are placed in Read 180 Lab;
  • Students with Lexile levels between 500 and 700 are placed in Read 180B;
  • Students with Lexile levels between 700 and 900 are placed in Read 180A;
  • Students who have completed Read 180A or Read 180B but still score below 900 are placed in Read 180 2.

The Reading Department curriculum is aligned with the current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.


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Science Department Overview

Category: Science, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: The Chelsea High School Science Department curriculum, course content, and instructional methods are all designed to support and direct students as they:
  • Develop critical-thinking and analytical skills;
  • Engage in active learning; and
  • Develop a coherent understanding of the physical world.The Science Department curriculum is aligned with the current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.

Chelsea High School Policy on Dissection and Dissection Alternatives

In accordance with the 2005 policy on Dissection and Dissection Alternatives set forth by the Massachusetts DESE, Chelsea High School has developed the following policy.

Student participation in hands-on science is important to learning science. Dissections are valuable learning experiences and all students are encouraged to participate in them. When dissection is used in the classroom at Chelsea High School:

  • Teachers thoroughly explain the learning objectives of the lesson and use written and audio-visual materials as appropriate to maximize the educational benefits of the experience.
  • All specimens are treated with respect.
  • All students are informed - prior to the dissection - that they have the option of discussing individual concerns about dissection with their classroom teacher.
  • When the dissection is complete, all remains are disposed of appropriately and in compliance with applicable Chelsea Public Health regulations and guidelines.

Dissection Alternatives

Each Chelsea High School science course that includes dissection also offers a dissection alternative. When a science teacher receives a written request from a parent or guardian objecting to their student's participation in a dissection, the student will be permitted to demonstrate competency through an alternative method.

Any student who wishes to participate in an alternative activity in place of dissection must do the following:

  • Notify the science teacher of his/her choice to participate in an alternative activity in place of participating in a dissection;
  • Submit a parent or guardian's written request for the alternative activity to the science teacher or the principal. This request is given to the Lead Science Teacher
  • Accept responsibility for completing an alternative activity provided by the science teacher. The teacher will specify in writing what is expected of the student during the alternative activity. Alternative activities are designed to provide students with the same content knowledge as the dissection activity and will require a comparable investment of time and effort.
  • Complete the alternative activity within the assigned time and demonstrate the same content knowledge to the teacher as students who performed the dissection activity.
  • Agree to be subject to the same course standards and examinations as other students in the course.

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Special Education Department Overview

Category: Special Education, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: The Special Education Department at Chelsea High School provides a wide continuum of services for students with disabilities. We provide services in least restrictive environment based on the individual student's needs, as agreed upon at their Team Meeting.

Students can take general education classes, with or without co-teachers (co-teaching is with two teachers in the core academic subjects only). For students who need more remediation and modified curriculum materials, there are Learning Center classes offered in all core academic subjects (English, History, Math, and Science). The Functional Academic and Post-Grad Programs are designed for students in grades 9-12 and up until age 22. The purpose of these programs is to provide comprehensive services to support communication skills, motor skills, adaptive behaviors, and personal independence.

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Visual Arts Department Overview and Flowchart

Category: Visual Arts, Department Overviews
Length: Full Year
Description: Our mission is to educate students in creative thinking and production and the artistic process. We work to develop students' understanding and appreciation of the artistic achievements of people from different times, places, and cultures. Our goal is to develop and teach a rich and rigorous curriculum while encouraging a culture of artistic thinking and learning, the creative production of student work, and the achievement of excellence. The Visual Arts Department curriculum is aligned with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks and National Core Arts Standards for Visual Arts.
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Early College at Chelsea High School

Category: Department Overviews, Early College
Credits: 5
Recommended Grades: 11,12
Level: n/a
Length: Full Year
Description:

Background

Chelsea High School provides 11th and 12th graders the opportunity to enroll in Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) Classes during the school day at Chelsea High School. All students are welcome to enroll in Early College Classes no matter what their previous academic performance was or their current GPA. This is an amazing opportunity for students to take college level classes for both high school and college level credit for free! Students can take up to 2 classes per semester for a total of 8 classes in 2 years. Most classes are transferable to State Universities, Community Colleges and many private for year schools.

Ways to Enroll

Students must submit to taking the Accuplacer test (at no cost) to be placed in the appropriate level BHCC classes. Students can meet with their Guidance Counselor or TRIO counselor to set up a time for testing. Following the receipt of their test results, students will meet with their Guidance or TRIO Counselor to select their College classes. Enrollment for Early College classes is on a first come first serve basis, so it's important to test early and register as soon as possible to ensure there is space in your top choices for classes.

Benefits

All classes are free!
  • There are classes for all levels of students
  • Credits are transferrable to most colleges
  • College level academic experience with High School support still available.

See orientation pdf for more details.

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Academic Departments and Course Search


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