Credit Transfer to Sending High School
The Traveling School is fully committed to working with students’ home schools to best support their international semester and to facilitate their transition home. Before a student is accepted on a Traveling School semester, we work to ensure each student will receive full credit. The first step is for families to meet with their home school to go over the Course Outlines and complete the Academic Credit Transfer Form to ensure all graduation requirements are fulfilled. The Academic Dean is available to answer questions and provide additional information as needed. Students come to The Traveling School from many different school systems and districts, and sending school diploma requirements vary. Many of the best public and private high schools send their students to The Traveling School and support our curriculum; a list of our sending schools can be found here. Some students have found that online courses can be a way to earn credit for coursework not offered at The Traveling School. Credit for online coursework is at the discretion of the sending school.
Students are required to take 6 courses. We recommend the student receive two semester credits for Global Studies and Physical Education and one semester credit for all other courses from their home high school.
This is a required course. This two-credit class is designed to be a thought-provoking, discussion-based forum that teaches and promotes critical thinking and helps students make connections between reoccurring themes, ideas, and concepts from the semester. The class has two primary focuses: first, this class uses multiple methods to provide students with critical thinking tools essential for higher level reasoning and critique; second, Global Studies uses an interdisciplinary and transnational framework to explore regional economic, political, social, and environmental issues in the developing world in order to better understand how globalization operates in our world today. The class is divided into multiple units centering on different themes pertinent to the region in which we are traveling. Global Studies is team-taught and is a required class for every Traveling School student; it is designed to be an academic and reflective space for the entire group to work through the complex questions that arise from traveling in the developing world.
The class will pose important questions about the state of southern Africa/South America today through an in-depth regional study. Drawing important connections between the political economies of the developed and developing world, we undertake a multi-scaled examination of the impacts of globalization on this region of the world as it relates to both the material conditions of everyday lives and the governmental structure and policy of southern African/South American nations.
In the fall semester, we explore a variety of different topics: indigenous issues, human rights, and the United Nations, race and power, and the politics of saving the world. In the spring semester, we explore: indigenous issues, foreign aid, and grassroots activism. Each unit engages diverse material coming out of multiple disciplines, schools of thought, and perspectives. Students contemplate and synthesize material through weekly Reflection, Reaction and Response essays.
The Global Studies course will also emphasize active world citizenship through community service and cultural exchange. Students perform approximately 20-25 hours of community service during the semester. During these experiences, students will study and understand local and regional issues and turn this knowledge into action.
Each student is required to give a final public presentation for a group of their peers when they return home. This presentation must be verified by a supervising adult and sent to The Traveling School for a final grade.
Required Course. The Traveling School is an all-encompassing experience and this course helps students understand and manage the demands of being an individual in a group setting. Physical Education (PE) & Independent Life Skills (iLife) is a 2-credit class that focuses on academic, physical and emotional successes and challenges. The PE component helps students develop strength and cardiovascular endurance. Being an active participant in PE enables each student to be a productive member of the group and will help to keep the group physically healthy throughout the semester. Weekly iLife workshops help students develop skills to become a healthy, productive citizen who takes responsibility for personal well-being, as well as a social responsibility for participating positively in the larger community around them. These workshops explore key aspects of communication, group dynamics, conflict resolution, and leadership skills. The combination of PE & iLife will help students develop an awareness of balance and well-being. This is a participation-based class during workouts and class discussions. Students receive daily grades and will complete weekly budgets and other writing assignments to enhance the workshops.
- Beginning Conversational Spanish
- Honors Intermediate Conversational Spanish
- Honors Advanced Conversational Spanish
This is a required course during the spring semester. Students are placed in one of three Spanish classes to develop Spanish language skills with an emphasis on conversation. The goal of these courses is to teach students the fundamentals of linguistics and develop Spanish language skills through practice.
Spanish is the primary language spoken in the classroom. Students are expected to improve their Spanish levels of reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension. Students learn and increase their fluency, with a combination of classroom lecture, grammar review, verb tenses, in-class discussion, instruction from and dialogue with native speakers, and exercises in the community (for example, bargaining and buying fruit in a local market). This interactive course requires students to engage and practice speaking techniques during class lectures, in experiential settings and with guest speakers.
This Conversational Spanish course implements the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century from the National Standards in Foreign Language Education. The emphasis for this course is taught using the 5 C’s: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.
- Honors History and Politics of Southern Africa
- Honors History and Politics of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia
History and Politics of Southern Africa Course Description:
Recommended Course. This course is designed to provide students with a thematic exploration of the history and politics of southern Africa. Students are asked to think critically about contemporary issues in southern Africa by framing the continent in pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial terms. Throughout the course, students will reflect on how Africa’s colonial past continues to shape its present realities. Using a historical lens, students will situate southern Africa within the larger context of global economics, politics, and social dynamics in order to study the ways in which colonial power relations such as race, class, and sexuality produce hierarchical social, political and economic realities for diverse groups of people on both local and global scales. Each unit of the course takes up a different theme and grounds it through specific case studies. In addition to this thematic study, students will engage with the geographic, historical and political particularities of each country we visit on the semester. Finally, students will build a variety of disciplinary skills including assessing and distinguishing between different kinds of sources, researching and presenting on various regional topics, creating and studying maps, interviewing and oral communication, and writing a historical essay. During this course, students will access, synthesize, and evaluate information to communicate and apply social studies knowledge to real-world situations.
History and Politics of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia Course Description:
This course is designed to provide students with a thematic exploration of the history and politics of the South American countries of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Students are asked to think critically about contemporary issues in the region by framing the continent in pre-Columbian, Inca, colonial and post-colonial terms. Throughout the course, students will reflect on how the region’s colonial past continues to shape its present realities. Using a historical lens, students will situate South America within the larger context of global economics, politics, and social dynamics in order to study the ways in which colonial power relations such as race, class, and sexuality produce hierarchical social, political and economic realities for diverse groups of people on both local and global scales. Each unit of the course takes up a different theme and grounds it through specific case studies. In addition to this thematic study, students will engage with the geographic, historical and political particularities of each country we visit on the semester. Finally, students will build a variety of disciplinary skills including assessing and distinguishing between different kinds of sources, researching and presenting on various regional topics, creating and studying maps, interviewing and oral communication, and writing an historical essay. During this course, students will access, synthesize, and evaluate information to communicate and apply social studies knowledge to real world situations.
- Honors World Literature and Composition: Southern Africa
- Honors World Literature and Composition: South America
Honors World Literature and Composition
Recommended Course. Honors World Literature and Composition is designed to provide students with critical reading and writing skills, while they benefit from the uniqueness of our environment. Designed to expose students to an assortment of highly acclaimed authors from southern African/South America or novels about the region, students read a minimum of two fiction novels. Students also read a variety of classic and southern African/South American short stories, plays, non-fiction, essays, and poetry. This course combines reading with a rigorous writing workshop practice to develop writing skills. Students will maintain a series of portfolios and daily journal entries. Students are expected to produce three major compositions including an analytical essay as well as other genre-focused essays relating to novels taught during the semester. All students write and take responsibility for their writing through the use of journals, revision, peer editing, and portfolio techniques.
- Honors Natural Science: Southern Africa
- Honors Natural Science: South America
Honors Natural Science Southern Africa Course Description:
Recommended Course. As we become an increasingly global society, responsible for the planet and its environmental challenges, we need to develop the skills to critically assess problems and logically develop solutions. This course is designed to enhance student’s understanding of the natural systems that surround us, both in our immediate surroundings in southern Africa and worldwide. Through a hands-on interdisciplinary approach, students will use observation and inquiry skills to explore these surroundings and make connections.
Students will read selections from journal articles, textbooks, and other scientific literature, attend guest lectures, and participate in in-class discussions, lectures, and in-depth field studies. With the diverse environments of southern Africa as our classroom, students will discover the value of observation and inference in science. Unit studies focus on concepts of biology – from ecology to infectious disease, and geology. Students will explore the applications of these sciences into environmental science, conservation biology, and resource extraction in terms of environmental impact and sustainable development. This course is designed around and meets the Next Generation Science Standards.
Honors Natural Science South America Course Description:
Recommended Course. As we become an increasingly global society, responsible for the planet and its environmental challenges, we need to develop the skills to critically assess problems and logically develop solutions. This course is designed to enhance student’s understanding of the natural systems that surround us, both in our immediate surroundings in South America and worldwide. Through a hands-on interdisciplinary approach, students will use observation and inquiry skills to explore these surroundings and make connections.
Students will read selections from journal articles, textbooks, and other scientific literature, attend guest lectures, and participate in in-class discussions, lectures, and in-depth field studies. With the diverse environments of South America as our classroom, students will discover the value of observation and inference in science. Using interconnectedness as an overarching theme for the course, unit studies start with a focus on the tropical rainforest looking at interconnections on a community scale. As the units progress, the course slowly zooms out exploring connections across ecosystems, biomes, and finally the biosphere. Topics will include rainforest ecology, community ecology, ecosystem services, and climate change. Embracing the theme of interconnectedness, units will tie into investigations in the History and Global Studies courses by diving into the economic, social, and political impacts of natural resource extraction as well as the globally felt impacts of these activities. The course will conclude with an exploration of how each individual student is connected to the systems and processes studied over the course. This course is designed around and meets the Next Generation Science Standards.
Travel Journalism Course Description:
This course is offered fall semester only. This introduction to journalism course focuses on understanding and practicing various types of journalistic writing. Students will gain an overview of the field of journalism, including the legal and ethical responsibilities of the press. Students will understand news sources, how to gather information, understand reporting and be able to meet deadlines. Throughout the course, students will write news, opinion, editorial and travel articles. Students are expected to gather information through formal and informal interviews to learn how to incorporate quotes to strengthen articles. In addition, students learn the basics of photojournalism and digital photography. Students are required to create a final photo portfolio using various techniques and themes.
At the end of the semester, after returning home, students will individually complete an electronic Photo Portfolio submitted to The Traveling School and a final publication quality article with query letter and three supporting photographs submitted to The Traveling School and a publisher of their choice.
Global Economics Course Description:
This course introduces the contemporary debate on the changing patterns and challenges of the global economy. Focusing on southern Africa/South America, students will gain an overview of the global economy within the field of economic geography and its connection to issues of natural resources, development, international trade and foreign aid. The course encourages students to develop critical thinking skills and utilize experiential learning opportunities to investigate the phenomenon of globalization to gain an understanding of today’s increasingly interdependent world.
Throughout the semester, students will examine debates about types of foreign aid and the key organizations that drive U.S foreign assistance programs. Using case studies, students will explore the complexity of issues and dilemmas surrounding four major U.S. foreign aid programs. Additionally, students will examine the impact of international trade and foreign aid on the regions through which they travel.
- For a course to be offered, a minimum of three enrolled students is required. If the minimum is not met, we can consider working with the student to establish an independent study.
- The Traveling School cannot guarantee complete overlap between a sending school math curriculum and The Traveling School curriculum. Math curricula focus on the primary topics in each subject area. Our syllabi likely vary from the curriculum of each student’s home high school. Students must work with their schools to recognize these differences and, if necessary, be prepared to do any additional work necessary to stay on track with her home high school requirements.
Algebra 2 Course Description:
Prerequisite: Algebra 1
Algebra 2 is a sequential curriculum that enables students to build the foundations for a strong understanding of higher level math. The first-semester curriculum addresses numeric and algebraic expressions and functions, linear and quadratic equations and inequalities in one and two variables. Students learn to conceptualize, analyze and identify relationships among functions graphically and analytically. Students are encouraged to master the concepts of various problem types and solution tactics, and a graphing calculator will often be used as a helpful tool to solve problems and analyze data. During this course, students will connect with the mathematical procedures of problem solving and analysis, estimation, communication, associations, and applications, and use appropriate technology.
- First Semester:
- Linear Functions
- Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
- Quadratic Functions
- Polynomial Functions
- Second Semester:
- Polynomial Functions
- Rational Functions
- Radical Functions
- Conic Sections
- Probability & Statistics
Precalculus Course Description:
Prerequisite: Fundamental principles of Algebra
Precalculus topics include advanced subjects in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and other areas of mathematics. In addition to forming the foundation for the study of calculus, the topics covered in this class have wide-ranging applications in science, art, engineering, architecture, navigation and numerous other areas. These topics will help students understand the world in new ways while preparing you for a college-level calculus class. Students will study concepts conceptually, analytically and graphically to gain an in-depth knowledge and variety of problem-solving tactics for a range of problem types. During this course, students will connect with the mathematical procedures of problem-solving and analysis, estimation, communication, associations, and applications, and use appropriate technology.
- First Semester:
- Prerequisites: Fundamental principles of Algebra
- Functions and Graphs
- Polynomial & Rational Functions
- Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
- Trigonometric Functions
- Analytic Trigonometry
- Second Semester:
- Additional Topics in Trigonometry
- Systems of Equations and Inequalities
- Conic Sections and Analytic Geometry
- Sequences, Induction, and Probability
- Introduction to Calculus
Our curriculum is designed with our objectives and goals in mind – students are inspired by what they are learning and course material is relevant to the places where we travel. Independent Study requests are not guaranteed and are subject to Traveling School approval.
Traveling School courses focus on critical thinking and the ability to access, synthesize, evaluate and communicate information through various formats. Students are assessed through class discussion and participation, projects, presentations, homework, quizzes and tests. Each course has a midterm and final exam or project.
Teachers submit grades with written comments after midterm and final exams. The midterm transcript is sent electronically to parents and home high school. The final, official transcript with written comments, is sent as an official document to student, parents and home high school.
2018-2019 Course Outlines
My semester opened my eyes to my place in the world and showed me what I wanted to be. I had conversations with people from all across sub-Saharan Africa, and I learned about history, literature, science, journalism, and life from their words. I came home with confidence in myself and in my generation – the confidence that we can do big things. And it all counted the same as sitting at a desk.