MHSA offers a strong foundation for lifelong learning. Students at MHSA enroll in six academic courses each semester in addition to their two arts courses.
All are encouraged to work at their individual ability level: Advanced Placement courses are available in the areas of Studio Art, Music Theory, Biology, English, U.S. History, Physics, Chemistry, and American Government. Accelerated courses are available in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Visual Art. MHSA now offers the AP Capstone Program. Learn more here.
English Language Arts
The vision of the MHSA Literacy Department is to educate all students to proficiency and beyond in order to prepare them for success in higher education, careers, and responsible citizenship through the following goals:
- Rigorous, relevant, and aligned curriculum
- Research-based instructional practices
- A common, high-quality, balanced assessment system
The ultimate goal of literacy education is to celebrate and utilize the language and literacy practices of our culturally and linguistically diverse learners as a tool to bridge, foster, and add academic literacy to students’ repertories. Building and sustaining a culture of reading encourages students, staff, and families to become aware of how reading is used in our daily lives for learning, business, leisure, information, pleasure, and survival. Creating such a culture requires a commitment and collaboration among staff, students, families, volunteers/tutors, and community partners
Students are required to complete four credits of English Language Arts to graduate.
Health and Physical Education
Students are required to complete .5 credit of health education, which is taken during their freshman year. Health education focuses on personal wellness, including making good choices, avoiding unhealthy social behavior and using community health resources.
High school students must earn 1.5 credits over eight semesters in physical education. Students in Grades 9 through 12 participate in a variety of activities in physical education. These may include team sports or individual fitness activities. The goal is to help students develop fitness habits that will become part of their lifelong daily routine. Every freshman takes Comprehensive Physical Education. This course has an emphasis on water safety and swim. Sophomores take Fit for life and then students can choose one elective: Aerobic Dance, Creative Movement, Get Fit-Stay Healthy, or Lifetime Sports.
The MHSA Mathematics Department strives to inspire all stakeholders to develop a deep understanding and appreciation for meaningful mathematics through the instructional shifts of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics by:
- Nurturing a culture that maximizes learning of mathematics,
- Ensuring equitable access to high-quality mathematics instruction, and
- Developing a deep understanding of mathematics through meaningful formative assessment, analysis, reflection, and actions.
High school students must complete three credits of mathematics, at or above the algebra level, to graduate. Students may select from a list of course options that specialize in specific applications of mathematics when they move into Grades 11 and 12. In addition to the in-person courses offered at MHSA, we also offers AP Stats via telepresence.
It is our responsibility as MHSA science educators to ensure that all students receive a high-quality, interdisciplinary learning experience that enables them to engage in hands-on, relevant learning in order to prepare for college, career, and citizenship readiness.
Students need three credits of science to graduate. They may choose the area of study. Students may take science courses at different points in their high school careers; for example, some may take biology as freshmen while others may wait until later years. There are several areas of science that are common to all science courses.
Social studies promotes students’ understanding of themselves and their roles in local, national, and global communities. Through rigorous courses rooted in the study of the humanities, students are prepared for career and college. We will show a commitment to continuous improvement through the use of research-based instructional strategies focusing on content-area nonfiction literacy to guide the daily planning and preparation of teachers, specifically through:
- Document-based questions,
- Service-learning opportunities
- Advanced Placement
To meet graduation requirements, high school students must earn three credits of social studies during their four years. This includes one unit of U.S. History; one unit of World History, World Geography, World Cultures or World Studies; and one unit of Citizenship or half unit of American Government and half unit of Economics.
Freshman can take AP Human Geography, Sophomores: AP American Government, Juniors: AP US History, and Seniors: AP Psychology. Students can leave MHSA with a potential of 4 classes of college credit in Social Studies
The Special Services Department functions to provide the least restrictive environment for all students enrolled. All Exceptional Education students are expected to participate in their chosen art specialty. Students are closely monitored in their mainstream classes and provided with tutorial assistance to ascertain success in these courses. The goal of the program is to foster personal as well as academic growth and confidence in every student.
Spanish is offered at MHSA. Students are encouraged to take 2-3 years of world language before graduation. Beginning with the class of 2021, all MPS students will be required to take two units of world language.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
At MHSA we use the acronym STAR, as all of our students are stars in some way! STAR stands for Safe, Timely, Accountable, Respectful. These are the qualities we instill in our students as they walk through our halls, participate in our classrooms, and collaborate to make meaningful statements in artistic ways about their world, their community, and their academic learning. Regular incentives are in place for those who exemplify these STAR expectations.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
Response to Intervention is a process used to help students that are struggling with a skill or lesson. Every child learns in different ways, at different levels, in different subjects. If a student needs additional help, they can receive accommodations that will further their progress in any subject. The same is true of those who wish to move ahead faster than the prescribed curriculum. We are here to facilitate learning and growth in all subjects for all students. A child may be gifted in one area and challenged in another. Our goal is to differentiate curriculum as much as possible so that all students may grow according to their own needs and at their own pace.
For more information about either of these initiatives, or to find out how you can get involved with your child’s progress and needs in any school subject or in any behavioral area, please contact the main office at (414) 934-7000.