The fundamental emphasis of the secondary curriculum is on language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. Elective and optional courses may include art, choral music, print media, physical education, public speaking, Model United Nations, science project, student council, college guidance, and foreign languages. Detailed information about secondary courses is included in course description booklets available in the guidance office.
All students are enrolled in a humanities class every semester. Courses include study in culture, history, and ethics applied to contemporary issues. All courses are taught on an academic basis and receive academic credit.
All students take English courses in the reading of literature and writing, with focus on clarity of thought and appropriate use of grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. Language Arts attempts to refine writing across the curriculum and touches on a wide variety of literary genres and media.
English Support (ES)
SYIS incorporates ES learning into a comprehensive approach for students whose first language is not English. The courses use interactive and communicative activities, while still focusing on skill building, to prepare students for academic content. Students are assessed and placed according to language proficiency and teacher evaluation.
Fine arts courses are offered in music and art, including such subjects as choir, photography, pottery, watercolors, alternative media, drama/reader’s theater, and Chinese painting.
Visual and Performing Arts
Visual and Performing Arts courses are offered in music and art, including such subjects as choir, drama, photography, pottery, watercolors, alternative media, drama/reader’s theater, and Chinese painting.
All students are expected to study a foreign language during each semester enrolled at SYIS. All students in grades six through eight are required to study the Chinese language, except where ESL classes are deemed more necessary. In high school, students may elect to study a different foreign language (subject to course availability) once they have completed two years of Chinese language study.
Math courses include General Math (grade six), Pre-Algebra (grade seven), Algebra I (grade eight), Geometry (grade nine), Algebra II (grade ten), Pre-Calculus (grade eleven), and Calculus or Statistics (grade twelve).
All students in grades six through eight are required to take physical education. All high school students will complete a health class and take a compulsory Sport class, with P.E. classes also being offered as electives. Physical education courses focus on fitness, health, and physical conditioning of the individual student.
Middle school students will take a combination of life science, earth science, and physical science courses. The core curriculum in the high school is comprised of biology, chemistry, and physics.
The middle school social studies curriculum includes integrated history, geography, and politics. High school students study ancient world history, modern world history and U.S. history. Depending on the semester, they may also have the option to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes in comparative government and economics.
Each year the yearbook staff produces a record of the activities and events which occurred during the school year.
The annual spring trips to various parts of China are integral to the students’ education at SYIS. The spring trips give our students the opportunity to experience the Chinese language and culture first-hand and put into action the social and cultural contents they learned within the classroom. By taking their education outside the physical walls of SYIS, our students are also meeting the Student Outcomes outlined in our school’s core values (Prizing Excellence, Pursuing Truth, Promoting Character, and Providing Community).
Every spring trip is guided by our experienced Chinese teachers. Each night, special time is set aside for our Chinese language teachers to teach the cultural and historical significance of the location visited. Whether it is visiting the tomb of Qin Shi Huang or climbing the Great Wall, our teachers will always find meaningful ways to educate our students on the heritage of Chinese historical sites. Depending on grade level, special projects explaining the historical significance of the spring trip locations are required from the student