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Covid-19 Precautions and Responses

Before making any decisions about whether we can reopen our campus, or need to close our campus, we will consult with one of the nation's leading epidemiologists and emerging diseases specialists. Our hope and intention will be to open our campus as soon as it is safe to do so. We will use a Hybrid model (described below) when we are able to open our campus until Covid is no longer a threat (meaning when a vaccine is widely and readily available -- and which time we will require all faculty, staff and students to receive).

We are currently installing HD cameras and mics in every classroom so that from now on our faculty can offer simultaneous instruction online while on campus. We will then alternate the days on which the Middle and High School students attend classes on campus. For example, if our Middle Schoolers were on campus Monday, our High Schoolers would work from home online. On Tuesday, our Middle Schoolers would work from home online while our High Schoolers attended their classes on campus. The net effect would be that only half of our student population would be on campus on any given day. As important, using this approach will mean that no TREE student would ever be too far from the social contact they yearn for and need.

An additional benefit to having permanent cameras and mics means that students who may be in a vulnerable population, or who may be contending with colds or mild flus, will not miss out on their classes.

Under any circumstances, and while Covid remains a threat, TREE will require the wearing of face masks throughout the day, as well as hand sanitizing and a temperature check for anyone wishing to enter our campus. We will also have Face Shields for our faculty and staff to protect them as much as possible.

Our approach will be safety first.

  • 9th Grade Biology
    Students in high school develop an understanding of key concepts that will help them make sense of Biology. The ideas are built upon students’ scientific understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts from earlier grades. There are four Life Science disciplinary core ideas in high school: 1) Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes, 2) Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, 3) Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits, and 4) Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity. The performance expectations for high school Biology blend core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to support students in developing usable knowledge that can be applied across the science disciplines. We focus on the development of critical thinking skills, interactive engagement and active participation of laboratory investigations.
  • 9th Grade World Literature
    In strengthening their foundation in writing cogently, reading independently, and thinking critically and analytically, 9th grade students engage with challenging reading material, explore thought-provoking topics of discussion, and produce increasingly more sophisticated writing assignments. ​ 9th grade students will continue to strengthen these skills by delving further into elements of critical reading, interpretations of poetry, the study of rhetoric and composition, traditional grammar and vocabulary development, sentence emulations, and socratic discussion skills. ​ In studying poetry, students will focus on a variety of poems and their various elements (imagery, meter, metaphor, etc.) as presented in Laurence Perrine's Sound and Sense. Students will explore poetic devices in writing assignments and poetry memorization-recitation assignments, with the occasional opportunity to write (and share) their own poetry. ​ In further developing their analytical reading skills, students will read and discuss such novels as Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz), and Lord of The Flies (William Golding), as well as short stories by Kate Chopin, Shirley Jackson, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allan Poe, among others. Reading assignments will be followed by a 5-paragraph essay (or project) in which students will demonstrate their understanding of the reading’s central themes and messages, as well as their own ideas of that reading’s relevance to their lives. ​ The study of grammar and rhetoric will focus on two books as points of reference: The Art of Styling Sentences (Longknife) and The Elements of Grammar in 90 Minutes (Hollander.) The main teaching of composition will occur in tutoring sections where each student's mastery of grammar will be addressed while examining their written work with the instructor. This is also where students will further develop and strengthen their approaches to proofreading, sentence combining, exercising diction, and drafting in order to submit their highest caliber work.
  • 9th Grade Human Geography
    Human Geography is a study that examines the settings in which people live their lives as part of a continual process of struggle and transformation. The central focus is the analysis of the relationship between society, place, and space. This year-long course gives students the opportunity to study humanity’s historic and contemporary relationship with the physical world and natural resources, along with human innovations in culture, governance, agriculture, and industry. The breadth of topics covered in Human Geography expose students to engaging topics and complex questions regarding how humans live, build, farm, govern, communicate, worship, migrate, fight, innovate, design, and compromise across the diverse regions of the Earth’s surface. Historical information and background knowledge serves to support the analysis of the impacts of phenomena such as globalization, colonialism, human-environment relationships on places, regions, and cultural landscapes.
  • 9th Grade Algebra 1
    Algebra I is split into two main parts: lines and curves. The first half of the class will focus on learning all about lines. Students will learn about how to graph a line, how to write an equation for a line, the slope of a line, how lines are used to model real life situations, and how to solve systems that have multiple lines. The second half of the class is about curves or also called nonlinear equations. Students will learn about exponentials and quadratics. They will learn how to graph and write equations for curves and how to solve nonlinear equations. This class is intended to explore the world of algebra through engaging activities and math discussions. Students will learn to think critically, come up with creative solutions to problems using previously learned tools, and focus on detail and precision.
  • 9th Grade Spanish: Beginners
    In our classroom, we will do a variety of activities and exercises including talking in Spanish, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and interacting in Spanish in pairs and small groups. Much of the class is conducted in Spanish in order to offer as much exposure to the language as possible, but English is used when necessary to offer clarity and efficiency. In this course, we deal with all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Grammar is studied not so that a student can recite grammar rules, but so that students gain an understanding of how language works; you must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited by the idea of making mistakes in front of others but we will work together to make the atmosphere as tension-free as possible. Students will have the opportunity to learn about cultural aspects from various countries around the Spanish-speaking world. Students should expect to participate daily in class activities and be prepared to move, act silly, and have fun exploring another language and culture.
  • 9th Grade Spanish I
    Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning. The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency. In Spanish I, we will review basic grammar consisting of forming plurals; agreement with gender and number of articles, nouns, and adjectives; how to form negative statements and negative questions with verbs. We will review subject pronouns, conjugation of regular verbs, lecture comprehension, and sentence writing in the present indicative. Students will read aloud in class and answer questions after short lectures. They will write sentences and short paragraphs on their own. They will be exposed to cultural knowledge and the Hispanic background of California.
  • 9th Grade Spanish II
    Students will be placed in Spanish I or Spanish II according to their knowledge, not according to their grade or their age, to ensure proper placement for learning. ​ The State of California sets forth a uniform vision of what students should know and be able to do at the High School level in World Languages. The standards were developed to accommodate all languages and identify the various stages of acquiring linguistic and cultural proficiency. They provide an organizing principle to ensure the continuous development of student proficiency. In Spanish II, we will review writing sentences with regular verbs in the Present Indicative, construction of descriptive sentences using “es/son,” and writing sentences using the present participle/gerund. We will learn some irregular verbs such as ser, estar, and ir, and will work with some stem-changing verbs such as querer and tener. We will learn direct and indirect object pronouns and the verb form "me gusta” as well as the preterite and the imperfect tense of regular verbs.
  • 9th Grade Study Skills
    Study Skills is a course designed to facilitate the executive functioning abilities needed to become an active learner. It does not focus on any particular academic subject, rather the concept and act of learning. This course will facilitate the growth of necessary confidence, organization, advocacy and self-awareness for students to succeed. It takes a whole-person approach to learning, not focusing on any one particular area of difficulty, but the whole learner. This course will be a foundation for their entire learning environment, providing reflection, inspiration, stability and a source of control over their education. Goals: Balance, Organization & Advocacy. Establish and maintain customized organizational, time management, studying and advocacy skills for each TREE participant. Own their relationship to learning. Homeroom & Accountability. Students will have a reliable schedule to check in on organizational, planning, and development of various school projects/courses. Practical skills building for deeper level learning ex: presentations, essay construction, note taking etc. Future Planning. Create a home for college and career research, personal/professional development and exam/application preparation. The teacher will enrich student interest through strategic planning of Passion Projects.
  • 9th Grade Learning Lab
    “It’s more than just a quiet room for independent work. In many ways, it’s the heartbeat of what we’re doing at TREE.” - Director of School, Darryl Sollerh The Learning Lab is where the nexus of learning occurs. Students are taking what they’re exposed to in the classroom and putting that into practice. In addition to being a space for academic practice & guidance, the Learning Lab gives staff the opportunity to observe and learn how our students are absorbing and processing what is being taught in the classroom. As TREE strives to serve the whole student, the Learning Lab is where our community learns to thrive together.
  • 9th Grade Inner Peace (Meditation)
    Based on the forthcoming book by Venerable Burin, the inner peace curriculum explores how we can bring more equilibrium, calmness and mental focus to our everyday lives through the art and techniques of meditation based on age or principles.​
  • 9th Grade Life Skills
    The Life Skills course is designed to assist students in growing and deepening their capacity to build relationships and community. An integral part of this process is to further curiosity and challenge the assumptions we hold about ourselves and others, in order to become better able to understand and value differing perspectives.​


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