Academics at La Reina

At La Reina, we understand how girls learn best. Our curriculum is designed to inspire curiosity, build competency, and prepare young women for a lifetime of success.
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We provide a well-rounded and rigorous Catholic education that builds on the lessons of a traditional and classical education while pushing forward into today's interconnected, global society.

La Reina students are challenged to explore their curiosity and individuality, engage their intellect and empathy, and strengthen their voices and values.


La Reina faculty work as partners both within their departments and across departments to ensure that students receive a well-rounded and integrated education.

To learn more about each department, please use the links below.

High School and Middle School Departments

Academic Support

English

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Department Directory

Mrs. Rebecca Adams

Mrs. Rebecca Adams

Department Chairperson, Herald Moderator
Mrs. Nikki Blake

Mrs. Nikki Blake

Faculty
Mrs. Kris Chisholm

Mrs. Kris Chisholm

Faculty
Mr. Jake Cousineau

Mr. Jake Cousineau

Faculty
Mrs. Stephanie Grey

Mrs. Stephanie Grey

Faculty

Enrichment

Enrichment Courses

We offer enrichment electives in order to provide our students with courses that are not for credit and non-graded as well as offer a period at the end of the day for teams or groups to meet and practice. These elective offerings complement our academics by providing classes in fine arts, practical arts, literary arts, speech & debate, athletics, and academic enrichment & advisement. These electives allow students to become well-rounded and develop their individual talents and abilities.

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Art, History, and Religion

Start 2/4/18 9:00 am

Grade Level: 10-12
Term: 1 Year

Students will develop the essential skills of visual and contextual analysis through the study of how art was used to express divine elements in various world religions. By examining works of art from diverse cultures and the relationships among these works, students develop an understanding of global artistic traditions in relation to religion. Students will analyze works of art in their contexts, considering issues of patronage, gender, politics, religion, and ethnicity. The interpretation of the works of art will be based upon its intended use, audience, the role of the artist, and the work of art in its particular social and religious demands. Students will expand their knowledge of history, geography, politics, religion, languages, and literature as they explore the story of humankind as told through the art created.

Pending UC approval

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Mathematics

Mathematics Department

The Mathematics Department provides instruction which develops the students’ computational, analytical and problem-solving skills. Students further this understanding as they apply these skills to real-life situations, especially in statistical analysis, the physical and life sciences, and economics. Mathematics instruction will prepare students for a variety of educational opportunities and career paths by developing the students' ability to analyze through critical thinking. Further, students develop interpersonal skills and their achievement is enhanced as they use collaborative methods of problem solving.

The use of technology enhances classroom instruction and student learning. Students become risk-takers by using “what if” situations. They are also able to visualize, interpret and analyze graphical interpretations of equations and data.

The Mathematics Department has two levels - college preparatory (CP) and honors. Initial placement is based on performance in previous math classes, entrance tests and placement tests. Honors students are expected to maintain at least 85%. Placement in the honors program is reviewed each year.

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Statistics CP

Grade Level: 11-12
Term: 1 Year

This is an integrated math course emphasizing statistics concepts to prepare students for advanced math courses. This course examines methods for displaying, describing, analyzing, and producing data, normal distribution, correlation and regression, as well as sampling distributions and probability. This course covers statistical inference for means and proportions as well. The applications throughout the course allow students to make connections between mathematical concepts and real-world applications. Students use the TI-84 Plus graphing calculator.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of 70% in previous math courses.

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Department Directory

Mr. Stan Hirsch

Mr. Stan Hirsch

Faculty
Mrs. Jessica Nasr

Mrs. Jessica Nasr

Department Chairperson
Mrs. Diana Szabo

Mrs. Diana Szabo

Faculty

Physical Education

Physical Education Department

Our junior high students participate in the SPARK Middle School Physical Education Program. This program is designed to be more inclusive, dynamic, and interactive than traditional PE classes. We integrate team sports and a variety of activities aimed at increasing hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. Our students participate in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program that emphasizes healthy living habits that include proper nutrition and daily exercise.

To fulfill their physical education requirement, high school students must participate in a team sport or enroll in a Dance or Core/Cardio class. For students participating in off-campus athletic activity, please visit the Alternative Athletic Program page.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Robin Privat

Mrs. Robin Privat

Department Chairperson

Religious Studies

Religious Studies Department

The goal of the Religious Studies Department is to foster the spiritual growth of our students by helping them understand their relationship with God and their fellow human beings in light of the Scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Mindful of the importance of our students’ relationship with God, we encourage them to respond to God’s call to promote justice and peace and to integrate their religious values into their daily lives.

Enriched by the diverse religious backgrounds of our students, our school community creates an environment in which personal faith is accepted, nurtured, and shared.

* The high school curriculum is in alignment with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops framework for Catholic Schools.

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Christian Service Requirement

The philosophy of La Reina High School states that the school provides an atmosphere in which each student “may discover, develop and share the unique gifts God has given her.” As a complement to the instruction of the religion classes, the Religious Studies Department requires a designated number of Christian service hours from each student as a means of implementing the school’s philosophy. This service is to be completed in the larger community, giving the student an opportunity to share her gifts beyond the school. This is a yearly requirement. The minimum number of hours is as follows:

Year Number of Hours
6th Grade none
7th Grade 5
8th Grade 5
Freshmen 20
Sophomores 20
Juniors 20
Seniors 20


Through this service, the student also develops leadership skills that “foster goodness and justice in society.” Specific information about meeting this requirement is given by the Christian Service Coordinator through the religion teachers. The Christian Service requirement MUST be met in order for a senior to receive her LRHS diploma.

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Department Directory

Mr. Chad Ribordy

Mr. Chad Ribordy

Faculty
Sr. Anna Maria Vasquez

Sr. Anna Maria Vasquez

Faculty

Science

Science Department

The science curriculum follows the California Next Generation Science Standards or the California Science Frameworks. Science classes develop inquiry skills using the eight science and engineering practices described by NGSS.

Due to the need for continuity and consistency in the department, course level changes at the semester require the approval of the science teacher, department chair, and administration and are rare. Students in honors courses should maintain quarter grades of not lower than B minus.

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AP Computer Science Principles

Grades: 10-12
Term: 1 year

AP Computer Science Principles combines a suite of web-based instruction with classroom activities that introduce students who have never coded before to programming and the impact of computing on our society. The course focuses on problem solving and authentic real-world creations. The language is Javascript, with some HTML and CSS. Students create digital presentations, web-based code examples, and web pages, and participate in collaborative learning activities in the classroom environment. The course emphasizes the seven Big Ideas of creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the internet, and global impact.

Students will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of two unique submissions during the year as part of the AP exam, and are required to take the written AP exam. The College Board has designed this course for students who are new to coding, and specifically to include girls.

The course is graded using a combination of project completion, plus online and paper quizzes and tests that include AP-style questions in preparation for the exam. Students take a practice AP test to prepare for the exam. Students who have taken Creative Computing 1 will recognize a similar dashboard and the same Javascript language, though this course has a broader and deeper approach.

This is a Period 7 class. No prior computer coding experience is required.

Prerequisites: Algebra 1.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Jennifer Ardy

Mrs. Jennifer Ardy

Department Chairperson
Mrs. Kelly Duffy

Mrs. Kelly Duffy

Faculty
Mrs. Yuling Hsu

Mrs. Yuling Hsu

Faculty
Mrs. Caroline McKay

Mrs. Caroline McKay

Faculty, Department Chairperson
Ms. Hannah Robinson

Ms. Hannah Robinson

Faculty, Faculty
Mr. Daniel Thomas

Mr. Daniel Thomas

Faculty

Social Science

Social Sciences Department

The Social Science Department prepares students for their roles as responsible citizens in local, national, and global communities. Important components of the curriculum include acquiring the knowledge to understand the complexity of global cultures and celebrating the multi-cultural diversity of our students, which is integrated into our instructional programs. In order to access this knowledge in various forms - primary source documents, maps, charts, and textbooks, among others - students learn critical reading, interpreting, and writing skills. Overall, students are taught to evaluate current and past events from a Catholic/Christian perspective with the goal of fostering in them the values of goodness and justice.

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American History & Government

Grade Level: 8
Term: 1 Year

Eighth grade students study the founding and forming of the United States. This course covers the time period from settlement and colonial development to the end of the mid-nineteenth century. The study of government, economics, politics and geography as it relates to the development of the United States is included.

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World History & Geography

Grade Level: 7
Term: 1 Year

Seventh grade students examine the different regions of the world from AD 500 to 1789. Students study the political, social, and cultural history as well as physical geography of each region. Current events of each of the nations studied are also included in this course.

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World History & Geography: Ancient Civilizations

Students learn about people and events ushered in the dawn of major Western and non-western civilizations. Included are the early societies of Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, Rome, and the Mayans of Meso-America. In studying the ancient world, students will come to appreciate the special significance of geographic place in the development of the human story. They will acquire a sense of the everyday life of the people, their problems and accomplishments. Their relationships to the developing social, economic, religious, and political structures of their society will be taught. Emphases will be placed on historical research in order to develop students' critical thinking skills and analysis.

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Department Directory

Mrs. Michele Austin

Mrs. Michele Austin

Faculty
Mr. Nathaniel Jones

Mr. Nathaniel Jones

Faculty
Mrs. Joan Petrone

Mrs. Joan Petrone

Department Chairperson

Technology

AP Computer Science Principles

Grades: 10-12
Term: 1 year

AP Computer Science Principles combines a suite of web-based instruction with classroom activities that introduce students who have never coded before to programming and the impact of computing on our society. The course focuses on problem solving and authentic real-world creations. The language is Javascript, with some HTML and CSS. Students create digital presentations, web-based code examples, and web pages, and participate in collaborative learning activities in the classroom environment. The course emphasizes the seven Big Ideas of creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the internet, and global impact.

Students will have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of two unique submissions during the year as part of the AP exam, and are required to take the written AP exam. The College Board has designed this course for students who are new to coding, and specifically to include girls.

The course is graded using a combination of project completion, plus online and paper quizzes and tests that include AP-style questions in preparation for the exam. Students take a practice AP test to prepare for the exam. Students who have taken Creative Computing 1 will recognize a similar dashboard and the same Javascript language, though this course has a broader and deeper approach.

This is a Period 7 class. No prior computer coding experience is required.

Prerequisites: Algebra 1.

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Visual & Performing Arts Academy

Visual & Performing Arts Academy

The La Reina VPAA recognizes each individual as an artist.

The La Reina artist:

  • realizes that she has a story to tell and experiments within a medium to communicate that story and teach others her insights about the world
  • reaches out in collaboration with others
  • supports and encourages her colleagues' artistic pursuits
  • is equipped with a set of transferable formal conceptual tools for communicating within and across media
  • is learning to face artistic and life challenges while in a supportive and caring atmosphere

The Visual and Performing Arts Academy focuses on the development of creative talents in the individual. The VPA academy takes imaginative critical thinkers and expands their abilities to evaluate, organize and produce innovative solutions in our complex world. The academy seal is placed on the diploma of students who have excelled at their coursework in the arts.

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Department Directory

Ms. Haykanush Hovsepyan

Faculty
Mr. Greg Jones

Mr. Greg Jones

Faculty
Mrs. Robin Privat

Mrs. Robin Privat

Department Chairperson
Mrs. Heidi Vass

Mrs. Heidi Vass

Vocal Arts Teacher and Director

World Languages

World Languages Department

This department is committed to providing a foreign language learning experience beginning in middle school that will provide students with the foundation and skills needed for a continued successful foreign language experience in high school. Through the study of a world language and the exposure to various diverse cultures, students will increase their global awareness and appreciation of the contributions of other cultures.

In all language classes, the target language is used. Native speakers will be evaluated on an individual basis and placed in a course level according to their proficiency measured by the second semester exam of the course previous to the course they desire.

Eighth graders who want to take French I or Spanish I must earn a “B+” or higher in their English 7 Honors class and must score above the 70th national percentile on the vocabulary, reading comprehension, and usage and expression sections of the IOWA standardized test. Students taking Spanish I CP or French I CP as an 8th grader must take two years of the same language in high school to fulfill high school graduation requirements. Most colleges recommend three years of high school language study.

It is understood that this class is a challenging one for 8th graders. In order to advance to the second level, students must achieve a minimum of 80% in foreign language level I. All freshmen who want to take French I or Spanish I must score above the 60th national percentile on the vocabulary, reading, and language sections of the High School Placement Test. In addition, freshmen must have obtained a “C” or better in their 8th grade English class.

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American Sign Language III CP

Grade Level: 11-12
Term: 1 Year

This course is designed for the student to further develop proficiency in ASL usage and complete three years of a world language. ASL is accepted at over 90% of universities, as a second language. Students will advance their knowledge of the language through further study in vocabulary, sentence structure, and usage. Students will also deepen their understanding of Deaf culture and Deaf history. The course will place particular emphasis on the conversational use of ASL, as well as the practical applications of signing through required interpretation and presentation projects.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of 70% in American Sign Language II CP

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American Sign Language II CP

Grade Level: 10-12
Term: 1 Year

This course is designed for the student to further develop proficiency in ASL usage. Students will advance their knowledge of the language through further study in vocabulary, sentence structure, and usage. Students will also deepen their understanding of Deaf culture. The course will place particular emphasis on the conversational use of ASL, as well as the practical applications of signing through required interpretation and presentation projects.

Prerequisite: minimum grade of 70% in American Sign Language I CP

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Department Directory

Mrs. Dana Coppa

Mrs. Dana Coppa

Class of '94
Faculty
Mrs. Caroline McKay

Mrs. Caroline McKay

Faculty, Department Chairperson
Mrs. Robin Privat

Mrs. Robin Privat

Department Chairperson
Ms. Anke Saldarriaga

Ms. Anke Saldarriaga

Faculty
Ms. Barrie Silberberg

Ms. Barrie Silberberg

Faculty