Curriculum at City Charter High School

City Charter High School staff recognizes its responsibility to provide each student with an opportunity to receive an exceptional education and to provide an atmosphere which is conducive to learning. Our students and their parents/guardians also share this responsibility. 

Academic Approach

City Charter High School models workplace and college environments. Students are provided with tools, learning activities and projects that mirror the world of work and the world of college. We have high expectations that every student can succeed at becoming a communicator, a problem solver and a collaborator.  

The academic program is built on a clustering of the Pennsylvania Chapter 4 Academic Standards. This clustering allows for flexibility in scheduling and staffing as well as providing a common sense approach to interdisciplinary, project-based learning. 

Cultural Literacy

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening 
  • Social Studies – Civics and Government, Geography, Economics, History 
  • Arts and Humanities 
  • Research – Information Literacy 
  • World Languages – Spanish

Scientific Literacy

  • Mathematics 
  • Science, Environment and Ecology 
  • Family and Consumer Science – Financial and Resources Management 

Wellness Literacy

  • Health, Safety and Physical Education 
  • Family and Consumer Science – Food Science and Nutrition, Child Development

Work-Skills Literacy

  • Career Education  
  • Internship & Transition 
  • Service Learning 
  • Basic Computer Literacy; Applied Technology, Computer Technology, Multimedia Technology, Network Technology 
  • Financial Literacy 

Course Requirements

Each core element has specific requirements. 


English Language Arts (8 trimesters)  
English Language Arts 9 
English Language Arts 10
English Language Arts 11 
Modern Literature 12  

Information Literacy (4 trimesters)  
Information Literacy 9 
Information Literacy 10 
Graduation Project 11 
Graduation Project 12 

Social Studies (8 trimesters) 
History 9
History 10
History 11
Politics and Civics 12 

World Languages (2 trimesters) 
Spanish 1 (10th grade) 


Mathematics (10 trimesters)  
Math 9
Probability & Statistics 9
Math 10
Geometry 10
Math 11
Math or Calculus 12

Science (8 trimesters) 
Physics 9
Applied Chemistry & Ecology 10
Biology 11
Applied Biology/Chemistry (with Lab) or Physics 12


Career Readiness (3 trimesters)  
Career 9 
Career 10
Career 11

Financial Literacy (3 trimesters)  
Enterprise Development 9
Financial Literacy 10
Financial Literacy 11

Technology (5 trimesters) 
Tech Applications 9 
Digital Media/Web Applications 10 
Digital Video 11


Fitness and Health (1 trimester) 
Fitness 9 
Health 9 

Pennsylvania requires all students to successfully complete Fitness and Health.  

Any student, who fails Fitness or Health, must make up the class or classes before graduating. 

Class Requirements

All students are required to maintain a full schedule AND carry a minimum of 6 courses per trimester through graduation. 

After-school Tutoring

City High offers after school tutoring programs in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. Teachers are available to help students who desire additional support with assignments. After School Tutoring meets twice each week from 3:45 PM to 4:45 PM. Students who stay for this program may not leave the building and return. Parents must sign a release allowing their child to attend the tutoring. 

After School Tutoring IS NOT an extension of the instructional day. It is an optional service provided by the grade level staff which will be revoked for inappropriate behavior. 

Senior Model

The 12th Grade Model provides students with the type of experiences they will encounter in college or at a job placement. The 12th Grade Model has the following components: 

  • Lecture (10% of a student’s time throughout the week) 
  • Seminars (40% of a student’s time throughout the week) 
  • Study Groups (20% of a student’s time throughout the week) 
  • Independent Work (30% of a student’s time throughout the week) 


The purpose of the Lecture is to introduce the content unit that students will be working on over several weeks. Content teachers gives a Lecture each week. The Lecture gives the teacher the opportunity to set long-term goals, to situate the topic within a larger context, and to explain projects and assignments. The Lecture gives the student the opportunity to practice note-taking and to plan for upcoming projects and assignments. 


The Seminar is a teacher-directed learning experience. The teacher presents the lesson, gives notes and explains the topic and any related work. Often Seminars are discussions about current work in progress. A student is scheduled into two seminars a week for each of his/her classes. Seminars usually consist of no more than 15 students. 

Study Group

The Study Group is a student-directed learning experience. A Study Group is made up of 2 – 4 students who are in the same academic class and who are working on the same assignment. Students are also allowed to form their own Study Groups. 

Independent Work

Every student is assigned into the Independent Work Room (Quiet Room) to complete assignments. Study Groups and Independent Work demand a high level of maturity, planning and hard work. 

Students receive a weekly Independent Learning (IL) grade and are expected to: 

  • report to the Quiet Room, Seminars, Lectures and Study Group rooms when scheduled work with teachers and staff to develop skills so that they can use their independent time and their Study Group time effectively 
  • use the Work Tracker to create timelines for their independent work and to schedule when to work on certain assignments, seek out a teacher, work in a Study Group 
  • not disturb others when working in the Quiet Room 
  • use all resources (Rounds and Email) effectively in order to complete coursework 
  • work collaboratively with other students in Study Groups 
  • be prepared for seminars 

Students will continue to receive a Workforce grade (see page 21).  

Independent Learning and Workforce grades are weighted equally and are each worth 100 points per week. 

Rounds - Teacher

Teachers work with students one-on-one or in small groups during Rounds. 

Work Tracker - Student

Students keep track of their seminars, lectures, study groups and independent work schedules using a Work Tracker. 

Honors Program

City Charter High School believes that all students need to be challenged academically to reach their fullest potential. City High’s academic program offers Honors Credit for core academic courses in grades 10, 11, and 12. Honors Credit is obtained by completing honors work within classes. Honors work consists of greater depth of content, extended work outside of classes, independent learning, increased individual responsibility and a willingness to persevere with challenging work. 

The City High Honors program has the following attributes: 

  • Students do honors work in the regular heterogeneously grouped classroom 
  • Honors Credit is given within a course for work over and above the core curriculum 
  • Honors Credit is offered in English, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science 
  • Honors Credit is offered in 10ththrough 12th grade 
  • Students enter Honors at the beginning of the trimester 
  • Students are allowed to drop Honors any time during the first four weeks of a given trimester 
  • 10th, 11th and 12th grade students must stay in Honors for the entire year-long class 
  • 9th grade offers an Honors-prep program. 9th grade courses will provide interested students “honors type” assignments. Students have option of including or not including those assignments in their class grade.  

The goal of the Honors-prep program is to encourage students to participate in more challenging academic work. 

12th Grade Calculus and Physics

To qualify for 12th grade Calculus and Physics, students must have an A or an A- in IMP 11 Honors and at least a B in another 11th grade Honors course (Biology, History, or English). If a student has a B or lower in IMP 11 Honors or a B- or lower in another 11th grade Honors course (Biology, History, English), then he/she can qualify for Calculus and Physics only with consent from his/her 11th grade Math and Science teachers if there are additional seats in the class, up to a maximum of 16. 

Students taking Honors will have the Honors indication on their report card and transcripts. 

Students completing Honors receive 25% additional quality points in the calculation of their QPA. 

For-credit College Classes

College class enrollment electives provide students in grade 12 with a college experience at CCAC or Point Park. Successfully completed courses (grade C or higher) count as an elective towards the City High graduation requirements. Qualifying City High seniors may take one course during the August/December term and a second course during the January/May term, if space is available. 

(Students must get a B grade or higher on their first course in order to take a second course.) 

Eligibility to participate in For-credit College Credits:

  • Less than 10 unexcused absences throughout the school year of application. 
  • Less than 15 unexcused tardies during the school year of application. 
  • Minimum grade of B in Workforce Readiness during the previous two trimesters of application. 
  • Cumulative GPA: 
    • Minimum of 2.75 to take courses at CCAC or 
    • Minimum of 3.0 to take courses at Point Park University 

A $200 charge will be placed on the debt account for any student who earns less than a final grade of ‘C’ at CCAC or Point Park University. 

Graduation Project Requirement

All students of City Charter High School will complete a “culminating project to demonstrate their ability to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding”. 

City Charter High School students are required to take the Research Seminar – Graduation Project class during their 11th and 12th grades to design a project that will provide students opportunities to exhibit their initiative as well as problem solving and decision-making, technology applications, and independent research as they investigate a self-selected specific area of interest. This project requires students to propose and design an independent, personalized hands-on learning experience, presented through a culminating exhibition of a quality product.  

  • Weekly Progress Grade and Successful Course Completion 
  • Literature Review 
  • Tangible Action Product 
  • Oral Presentation 

Academic Ethics

Post-Secondary Colleges/Universities, Certification/Training Programs and Employers demand individuals who are honest and ethical. City High Students are expected to model a high level of ethical conduct as they complete daily school work, homework, complete tests and projects. City High defines plagiarism and cheating as copying and utilizing three or more words of another person’s work as their own. 

Students shall: 

  • Not knowingly cheat on assignments or tests. 
  • Not tamper with grade books or computer files. 
  • Not plagiarize – copying or using another’s ideas, concepts, facts, and/or words as though they were their own. 
  • Not provide others with answers or completed assignments. 
  • Adhere to the school’s Appropriate Use of Technology Policy. 

Please refer to the Grading Procedures section of the handbook for detailed information on grading in the event that an assignment or assessment is plagiarized. 

Questions or Concerns?


City Charter High School Academics 
Phone: 412-690-2489, Ext. 221 

Angela Welch
Education Manager & Assistant